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iPhone screenshot and photo Smart Albums Apps
I take a lot of screenshots when I research products, both on the desktop and on the iPhone, so having some way to automate the process of organizing my collection is important. The problem is that screenshots images taken with the iPhone have no EXIF metadata. This means there is no straightforward way to produce a list of all your screenshots.

After a little bit of experimentation, I found a workable but not ideal solution. You can use the lack of EXIF metadata as conditions to group all the images. Screenshots are saved as PNG files on the original iPhone and the iPhone 3GS (the two models I had access to) and have no EXIF records. The only other metadata fields available are filename, file size, and modified, and imported dates. The PNG extension for the filename is the one existing feature you can search for, all others have to be unknown. I selected two features aperture and ISO, even though one would work in the hopes that this would reduce any false positives.

A Smart Folder recipe for iPhone Screenshots
  • Match all of the following conditions:
  • Aperture is Unknown
  • ISO is Unknown
  • Filename contains PNG
Photos taken on the iPhone are saved as JPEGs and contain EXIF metadata. The iPhone 3GS embeds many more fields than the original iPhone. The easiest feature to select is 'Camera Model.' The field type must be is or is not, there is no option for contains, so you will have to specify each phone separately.

A Smart Folder recipe for iPhone Pictures
  • Match any of the following conditions:
  • Camera Model is Apple iPhone
  • Camera Model is Apple iPhone 3GS
Searching for Screenshots from the command line: all iPhone screenshot images have a width of 320 pixels and a height of 480 pixels in portrait or landscape. It is possible search for these files using the Spotlight command line tool mdls to integrate them into other scripts. There are many other options for searching for images with the full Spotlight syntax and it is possibly to execute these as Raw Querys in the Finder or use a Spotlight front end such as HoudahSpot, but that is a topic for another post.

mdfind -onlyin $HOME/Pictures \
  'kMDItemKind == "Portable Network Graphics image" && \
  kMDItemPixelHeight == 480 && kMDItemPixelWidth == 320'
The original posting of this procedure can be found here, with some illustrations of the process.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one. The illustrations in the blog posting above may clear up questions about the process.]
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iPhone screenshot and photo Smart Albums
Authored by: ckoerner on Jun 14, '10 03:41:08PM

One further refinement would be to add the following "Filename starts with IMG_". to the series of filters.

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iPhone screenshot and photo Smart Albums
Authored by: fuzzy76 on Jun 14, '10 11:44:19PM

Just though I'd add that the reason these images don't have EXIF info is because EXIF is a jpeg metainfo extension. PNG files can't have EXIF info.

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