File sharing and collaboration company Box.net’s SimpleShare is a great little desktop app for Windows and Mac that makes taking and sharing screenshots and screencasts seamless. Take a screenshot or record a screencast using the app and it will automatically be uploaded to your Box.net account, while the file’s URL will be copied to your clipboard, ready to share over email, IM or Twitter. What’s more, you can also share other files in a similar manner just by dragging them to the app’s icon.
On the Mac, SimpleShare sits in the menubar, and the app uses the same keyboard shortcuts for taking screenshots as OS X’s built-in tools. It’s similar to the GrabBox app I’ve written about previously for uploading screenshots to Dropbox, but the addition of a screencasting tool and the ability to upload other files makes SimpleShare even more useful. On Windows, the app’s icon lives in the task bar and uses different keyboard shortcuts, but otherwise works in the same way to the Mac version.
SimpleShare’s screencasting feature is pretty bare-bones, with none of the controls or editing features you get in a dedicated tool like Camtasia. You can select a region of the screen to record and that’s about it. However, it’s good enough to make a quick recording of something happening on your screen, and could be very useful for sharing rough and ready demo videos to document a process for colleagues, or to record a problem with a website to share with technical staff, for example. Screencasts are recorded as Flash files (.flv format) so can be instantly replayed by anyone you share them with, with no need for them to download any additional software.
SimpleShare is free and available to download for Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 7 64-bit, and Mac OS X 10.5, 10.6. It requires a Box.net account; a personal account including 5GB of storage is free.