Google has been testing a screenshot tool built straight into its Google app for nearly the past year, and soon, the feature is finally going to become available to a worldwide audience. With this new feature, Google doesn't take over a device's screenshot capabilities, but instead grabs on to the images captured by the OS, allowing you to quickly edit or share them. It's important to note that this feature only works inside of the Google app, which includes the main screen and links you visit. In testing, the functionality seems to break when you are multiple links deep into a website, but generally, most people don't treat the app as a web browser anyway.
Regardless, as Google puts the final polish on the feature, you can jump ahead of the line by agreeing to the beta, and then grabbing the beta version of app at either Google Play or Apple's App Store.
Opting into the beta is a breeze, and you can be up-and-running with the new version in a matter of moments. After you take your first screenshot from inside of the Google App (seen in the second shot above), you'll be asked to opt-in to the new feature. Afterwards, you'll begin to see a "Screenshot captured" panel at the bottom after each capture, allowing you to quickly edit or share it.
In the example below, we screenshot a very familiar website, and then added an annotation and a circle around an important sentence. You can choose a handful of different colors, and even without a pen, jotting down something quick is pretty quick and convenient (unless you have really have oversized fingers, maybe).
In addition to the pen feature, you can also crop images as necessary, which is a very useful feature for showing friends or social networking contacts only the part of the screen they should see.
Ultimately, this feature is pretty simple in the grand scheme, but it's a nice addition nonetheless. We could see it expanded in time, and in some ways it would be even more useful if the option was added to capture screenshots exclusively with the app, rather than the phone. OnePlus recently disabled PNG capturing in an update, for example, leaving people only with JPG image capture. Google could rectify that kind of problem if the screenshot tool could likewise take shots outside of the app. But that might be asking too much.