Do you dread having to drag out your scanner to turn even a small amount of information into something electronic? Well put that cumbersome scanner aside and get out your iPhone!
While it may seem that you are simply taking a picture, which you are, a scanning app turns that picture into a real electronic file (such as a PDF), organize them as you would other electronic files, put tags on them for search purposes, and even allow you to edit the text.
What makes a good scanning app is the speed of scanning, the quality of the output, and the ease-of-use. There are tons of apps in the market. Here are some apps that work well – which you may want to go to the App store and research further.
Touted as one of the best available, TurboScan is fast and offers the best results. Maybe this is because it does something unique to ensure it provides the highest quality of scan: it lets you take three pictures of the same document. These three pictures are merged together to give you the best resolution possible. See the demonstration on http://evoscanner.weebly.com
If you’re not a fan of scanning because of past experience with poor scans, Doc Scan knows the problems and fixes them. It knows how to find the edges on documents, straighten the text (a huge plus), and enhance the scanning results to ensure the highest quality possible. If you plan on scanning a lot of pages out of books, Doc Scan Pro is the best choice.
Combine an easy-to-use interface and extensive processing options, Scanner Pro is ideal if you do lots of scanning now, or if you want to start scanning more (and have avoided it in the past because of the “hassle”). Use the magnifying glass to find the corners, choose if you want black and white, grey scale or color output, and adjust the contrast and brightness as necessary. There is also no need to take one picture at a time as Scanner Pro makes it easy to create documents with multiple pages before they are processed. For many, this app is the essential scanning app for iOS.
Prizmo is ideal for someone who wants to scan everything from business cards gathered while at a conference or networking event (who wants to collect and carry around all those business cards) to whiteboard presentations. Not only does Prizmo scan the information, it also converts it into a text file you can edit. Sharing is possible with iCloud, Dropbox and Evernote.
If you need (or want) to do more than just the basic scan and save, CamScanner is the feature-filled app to use. You can merge your scanned items, protect them with a password, send them via email to others, and upload to the cloud. Evernote, Dropbox, and Google Docs are all supported.
While scanning alone is fine – in other words, you can take something printed and turn it into something electronic – most scanning-only apps don’t offer true OCR (Optical Character Recognition) which is far more than simply scanning the item: it turns them into actual text. This text is then available for editing, copying, pasting, and searching. Good news for those with shaky hand, one of the functionalities helps to ensure the cleanest scan results possible. It also includes a translation feature for a wide selection of languages.
Some of these apps are free (or have a free version) and even when you have to pay – it is a just a few dollars. The value of such an app is very high. When you stumble upon important or valuable information you can just put your iPhone to work helping gather what you need. You may even want to scan all your documents e.g. receipts and statements, as a practice towards a paperless world.