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Superstash lets you collect and annotate the mobile web


Superstash is an iPad app for collecting and annotating pages on the Web that inspire you. I see it as an app for designers, but it has many applications. The basic idea: snap screenshots of the viewable area of a web page using the in-app browser, add text and drawings on top of them and save the result into your collection. You can organize your shots with tags and/or folders, add notes to the entries and email any screenshot (with annotations) at any time.

It's similar to LittleSnapper, which is great on the desktop, but the mobile version is currently only available on the iPhone. Superstash brings the functionality to the iPad. I've used Moodboard to do similar things on the iPad, but Superstash is focused only on saving web snaps and provides a more precise set of tools for doing so.

The interface is very aesthetically pleasing. It follows a (possibly overplayed) wood desk motif, but does it subtly and with a refreshing attention to detail. There are only a few icons in the toolbar at any time, and their meanings are easy to intuit. There's a URL bar with fairly obvious possibilities, and to the left, you have your basic browser buttons (back, forward, bookmarks) and a lightning bolt that takes you to Superstash's pre-defined collection of inspiring sites. The ready-to-go bookmarks encompass a vast array of topics and make for great free-time browsing.

superstashcropper300.jpgThe tools on the right side of the interface let you snap either the full viewable screen, or use a crop tool to select any part of it. The last button on the right takes you to your folders, where you can search for and navigate to previously collected pages. Once you snap an image, you're immediately taken to the annotation screen, where you can add text bubbles and draw with your finger (or stylus) in any color. It's a far-from-extensive toolset, but it does the job. Once you're done, you can email or save the result. The save dialog includes fields for optional title, rating, tags, notes and destination folder.

I really dig this app, both in concept and execution, but there are a few things I'd love to see. First, some means of syncing bookmarks with my Safari bookmarks. Better yet, let me pull bookmarks from Pinboard and search them; wishful thinking, I know. However it's done, make my web browsing tracks more portable, and I'll be much more comfortable in an in-app browser. Second, some line/arrow tools in the annotation mode would be great. Admittedly, I draw a terrible arrow with just my finger. Also, along those lines, let me pick the size of the eraser head or offer a stepped undo button. Lastly, I'd love to be able to save the entire length of a web page. I know there are probably technical limitations there, but it would be a huge plus.

Superstash is available on the App Store now for an introductory price of US$3.99 the price has dropped to US$2.99 for the time being.

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