Getting your point across, artfully, with PointOut

By , May 13, 2016

PointOut 1.6 for iOS iPhone screenshot 001

PointOut for iPhone, an exciting image annotation app, is celebrating its first birthday with a feature-packed update that surfaced yesterday on the App Store.

As its name hints, this app lets you point out things on your photos and iOS screenshots with pointers such as arrows, dots, circles, lifelike loupes, precision glasses, different canvas layouts, focus areas and more.

These tolls make it super easy to highlight or enlarge specific details on your photos in a manner that’ll make an impact on your audience.

In its latest update, PointOut has gained some new pointers with draggable text labels for making even greater impact, a flat magnifying glass for those who couldn’t stand the skeuomorphic ones, full support for non-standard iOS keyboards and more.

Having been using this app for months, I’ve grown to like it quite a lot. This quick review should give you an idea why I deem PointOut a unique iOS annotation app.

Business model change

PointOut’s first anniversary has brought about a business model change.

Developer Marek Moi has ditched the free model for a shareware-with-a-watermark one: the app and built-in content remain free, but your screenshots now have the PointOut logo watermark on them unless you unlock an upgrade to remove it (or replace it with your own logo, if you like).

Additionally, as a result of this change all built-in layouts are now unlocked so that everyone can try them out before deciding about removing the watermark.

Show what you mean

To get started with PointOut, import some screenshots.

In addition to picking any photo from your library, you can also paste an image from iOS’s clipboard, quickly load the last taken photo/screenshot or snap a picture within the app. iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus owners can import images even faster with 3D Touch’s Quick Actions in the shortcuts menu on the Home screen.

PointOut 1.6 for iOS Quick Actions Home screen 3D Touch iPhone 6s screenshot 001

Image annotation features are plentiful in PointOut.

In addition to the various crops, the built-in layouts let you combine multiple images on a grid-like canvas, akin to Instagram’s Layout. These presets let you have up to four screenshots on a single canvas, and you can position each one within its rectangle as you like. To quickly set the image scale, use the pinch gesture or touch the scale bar.

PointOut 1.6 for iOS layouts iPhone screenshot 001

Once you’re satisfied with the layout, the rich set of annotation and visualization tools let you point out up to three areas with arrows, loupes, rectangles, highlights and more. Each of these pointers can be made brighter, darker, larger, smaller and customized further with options such as colors, shadows, borders, filters, line thickness, various backgrounds and more.

PointOut 1.6 for iOS loupe iPhone screenshot 002

In addition to the skeuomorphic loupe, which may not be everyone’s cup of tea, PointOut’s version 1.6 update has brought out a diagram-style, non-skeuomorphic magnifying glass, as show below.

Sadly, I won’t be using PointOut to annotate my iOS screenshots on iDownloadBlog because it doesn’t fit our website style. That said, I’ve used PointOut for a few personal projects and boy has it made impact—folks who’ve seen my PointOut-enhanced images are convinced I painstakingly edited them in Photoshop.

PointOut 1.6 for iOS loupe iPhone screenshot 001

PointOut is especially useful for illustrating tutorials, guides and how-tos because it’s so simple to direct your audience’s attention on an enlarged detail within the image or combine multiple images in a few taps, each one zoomed in on a specific detail.

Here’s PointOut’s skeuomorphic loupe.

PointOut 1.6 for iOS loupe iPhone screenshot 003

To share your finished work, tap PointOut’s Share icon to quickly post the image to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, or hit the three dots to bring up iOS’s multi-purpose Share menu with additional options like Email, AirDrop and third-party extensions.

Miscellaneous and examples

PointOut supports any form-factor iOS device and has a native interface optimized for the iPad Pro’s 12.9-inch screen. Here’s what the app looks on a regular-sized iPad.

PointOut 1.6 for iOS iPad screenshot 001

Point out also supports iOS 9’s new multitasking modes.

PointOut 1.6 for iOS Slide Over iPad screenshot 001
PointOut in Slide Over multitasking mode.

PointOut 1.6 for iOS Split View iPad screenshot 001
You can run PointOut side-by-side with another app in Split View multitasking mode.

PointOut 1.6 for iOS landscape iPhone screenshot 001
PointOut supports both landscape and portrait orientation on any iOS device.

By the way, if you’re into iOS automation you can use these custom URL schemes for PointOut to enhance your workflow. Here are some cool examples of how PointOut can help get your point across.

PointOut 1.6 for iOS example 005

PointOut 1.6 for iOS example 006

PointOut 1.6 for iOS example 001

PointOut 1.6 for iOS example 002

PointOut 1.6 for iOS example 003

PointOut 1.6 for iOS example 004

For additional examples like these, check out the online screenshot gallery with some excellent showcase of PointOut’s features and what tools were used, and how, to annotate sample images.

PointOut was crafted in Poland by indie developer Marek Moi.

To learn more about this app, check out the official website.

Pricing and availability

PointOut requires an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad with iOS 8.0 or later. The app is English-only and can be downloaded free of charge from the App Store.

If you’ll be using PointOut on a regular basis, I suggest you award the developer’s hard work by buying him a virtual cup of coffee via the In-App Purchase mechanism, which unlocks the watermark/logo tool.

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  • Jason B

    So what app do you use for screenshot editing for the website, Christian?

  • Gregg

    Ingenious and a fresh idea. Dev rewarded with a cappuccino 🙂