The web was thought to displace paper, but it turns out that it wasn’t the case. However, managing documents digitally provides advantages that paper could never meet: durability, multi-location backups, search, and availability. The process of turning paper into digital documents remain the main point of friction, and we’re going to show you apps that will make this easier.
With the boom of smartphones, many iOS and Android scanning apps are emerging that constantly improve our lives with new features and interfaces for the user. Scanner apps are no different. These apps come in handy when you need to scan some physical documents and convert them into PDF or any other format directly on your phone. Listed below are some of the well-known and the most preferred apps for scanning documents.
1/ Google Drive (Android)
An ideal software for scanning documents, storing sketches, and taking notes. Google drive provides a feature to scan documents via android phones and perform OCR on them. However, the scan feature hasn’t quite made its way into the iOS app, but on Android devices, Google Drive is still an ideal software to store and organize pictures of the documents that can be converted later. This feature is freely available on Android. All the scanned documents can be safely stored and neatly organized on the Google Drive account for later use.
2/ CamScanner (iOS and Android)
An easy to use mobile scanner app, CamScanner is an intuitive and a well-known app for Android and iOS devices that performs OCR and converts documents into PDFs. Its auto enhancement and cropping capabilities of sketches and drawings make it a simple and convenient app for new users. Miniscule details like the amount, date and time can be retrieved effectively from physical receipts and neatly organized for later use. This app allows its users to make side annotations, highlight useful lines, and scribble notes like one would do on a PDF file. The users can also save those documents on the cloud storage offered with the free version of the app. The premium version further allows more storage on the cloud and password protection on the scanned or converted documents. It is safe to assume that CamScanner users will find themselves content in the features offered by the free version.
3/ Scannable by Evernote (iOS)
We all know and love Evernote. For iOS Evernote users, Scannable can be the best option to scan and perform OCR on paper-based documents, sketches, business cards, reports, and receipts to file and organize them in their Evernote account. The app automatically recognizes the text region and scans the document without the user having to tap the screen at all. The app also allows for swift scanning of multi-paged documents. The scans are enhanced and cropped to present a readable text that can be easily copied and modified for further usage. Although it works smoother with Evernote, it also allows the user to share the scanned documents on other apps as well. Best of all, it is completely free.
4/ Scanbot (iOS and Android)
One can easily call it the ultimate scanning app for iOS with a plethora of features. This minimalistic looking app is armed with some powerful features that make scanning and converting paper-based documents easier and more convenient for the average user. Scanbot gives its user on-screen advice on how to place the document and then captures the image without the user having to lay a finger on the screen. The on-screen feedback not only ensures that new users can easily scan and convert documents but also ensures that only high-quality scans are performed. The app automatically recognizes when a new page is placed and scans the document. The OCR may be an in-app purchase, but it always extracts accurate texts for further use. In the pro version, this app also allows its users to set reminders that work flawlessly with apps like Evernote and also, the built-in iOS reminder app. Cloud storage is also available for users to save their documents on the cloud.
5/ Finescanner (iOS and Android)
An excellent scanner app that comes packed with amazing features. Finescanner handles receipts, business cards, and other paper-based documents as well as any other scanning app out there. The OCR functionality is premium only, though, but it’s highly effective and recognizes characters supporting up to 44 different languages. Finescanner also crops the background and stores the enhanced document images for further use. Every scanned document can be stored in other applications like Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, etc.
6/ Office Lens (iOS, Android, and Windows Phone)
Office Lens is available across all mobile platforms. This app captures and scans the documents excluding any extra background and adjusts the dark areas of the scanned image for better visibility. Office Lens can convert the scanned document into a Docx, PDF, or PPT format to provide compatibility with the Office suite. Office Lens lets you save your scans on a local drive, OneDrive, or Evernote for later use. This is one of the best scanner app available on Windows Phone and provides all the features for free.