How to simplify taking and sharing an Android screenshot with Google Now

Taking a screenshot might seem like a basic mobile tip, though you might find the standard method frustrating. Here's an easier way to do that in Android 6.0.

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Image: Jack Wallen

Screenshots are sometimes necessary to retain a moment in time, and they can even be the best way to instruct an end user.

Depending on the device, taking a screenshot could be a two-button combination (such as the power button and the volume down button on the Nexus 6), or it could have its own dedicated button on the device (such as some of the Samsung Galaxy Tabs). Sometimes, however, that key combination can be a bit awkward. Take, for instance, the LG G3, where the power and volume buttons are on the back of the device and anyone with fingers larger than average will find snapping a screenshot an exercise in frustration.

Thankfully, there's another way. Starting with Android 6.0 (Marshmallow), you can snap a screenshot using Google Now. Even better is that the second you snap that screenshot, you can immediately share it.

SEE: Android Marshmallow: The smart person's guide

Taking a screenshot

The first step is to find the screen you want to save. Once that window is open, long-press your device's home button. Soon after you hold that button down, the Google Now on Tap pop-up will appear. In that window, you'll see the Android Share button to the left (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A
Image: Jack Wallen
Taking a screenshot through Google Now on a Verizon-branded Nexus 6.

Tap the Share button. The screenshot will be snapped, and you'll be presented with the built-in Android share system (Figure B). If you want to share the screenshot, tap the button for how you want to share and complete that process.

Figure B

Figure B
Image: Jack Wallen
The Android built-in share system is ready to share you screenshot.

Finding the screenshot

Whether you share the screenshot or not, the image has been captured and saved on your device. To find the screenshot, do the following.

  1. Open Google Photos.
  2. Swipe right, from the left edge of the screen.
  3. From the sidebar, tap Device folders.
  4. Tap Screenshots.
  5. From the thumbnails, tap the screenshot you want to view.

You should see your screenshot ready to be used. You should also notice that the Screenshots folder is not set to sync with your Google Cloud photos -- you can change that by tapping the cloud icon (Figure C) associated with Screenshots until it changes to a blue cloud with an upward pointing arrow. By default, the only folder that automatically syncs is the Camera folder.

Figure C

Figure C
Image: Jack Wallen
Enabling your Screenshots folder to sync with your Google Cloud account.

Screenshots made easy

This is a much easier way to snap screenshots and a more efficient way of sharing them. At some point in your life with your Android, you will have to share an image of what's on your screen, and you'll be glad this process can be done so simply.

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By Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic, The New Stack, and Linux New Media. He's covered a variety of topics for over twenty years and is an avid promoter of open source. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen....