Before there were smartphones, you either had the choice of buying an all-in-one printer, purchasing a standalone scanner or running to your office to send documents. Now you can forget all of that as there are plenty of document scanner apps available in iTunes.
Not all scanner apps are created equal though. We’ve found you the five best! They all offer easy to use interfaces, clarity of scanned images, reasonable price and additional features like cloud connection and further image enhancement. So clear out some clutter at home and try out one of our favorite doc scanner apps.
Scanner Pro Editor's Pick
It's no surprise that Scanner Pro is one of the more popular scanner apps available. It's feature-packed and has a very easy to understand interface. When taking a scan, a handy grid overlay pops up over the document to ensure that the image is not crooked. The app will automatically try to guess the area that you want scanned, but you can easily adjust this further in case the edge detection is not correct. The app also comes with image processing technology that smoothes out uneven lighting and offers basic image editing tools. These image processing tools can also be utilized on images that are in your camera roll.
If you happen to have multiple pages Scanner Pro allows you to save all of the images in one document, saving you a lot of time in the long run. Once the document is scanned, you can choose to save it in PDF format and then either email it or export directly to Dropox, iCloud, Evernote or Google Documents. In addition, if a printer is nearby, you can also choose to print the files directly from the app.
If you're looking for a good, free scanner option, you might want to check out Genius Scan by The Grizzly Labs. The free version allows you to scan documents, choose the file format (PDF or JPG) and then email it to a recipient. The app will automatically crop the image after detecting the page frame and then correct the perspective so you don't even need to worry about taking a crooked picture. After you've made your document you can add tags and titles for better organization. If you want to use cloud services like Dropbox or Google Drive you'll have to pay $2.99 to upgrade to Genius Scan+.
While most other scanner apps only allow you to save documents in non-editable form, Prizmo is one of the few that creates a text file from your scan. While there are times where it might confuse some characters with symbols, for the most part it is fairly accurate and certainly beats retyping the entire document. In addition, Prizmo can also extract information from business cards to create contacts on your phone or share it as a vCard for Outlook users. Included in all of this is also the text-to-speech functionality. You can access 26 different languages with the cost of the app. If it's not included, there are 20 additional languages available through in-app purchases. All of these features come at a price, $9.99 to be exact, but if you're looking for a scanner app loaded with features, Prizmo is definitely the way to go.
While the feature list for InstaPDF isn't nearly as extensive as some of the other scanner app options in iTunes, it has the great price tag of Free. User interface is straightforward, intuitive and doesn't clutter your screen. Once you take your scan you can also use the built-in editing function to enhance text and store just what you need from the scan. If you happen to sign a lot of documents, you can easily choose one of the signatures that you've stored locally and add it to whatever document. InstaPDF stands out from the crowd due to the fact that you can sync it across all devices, even your Mac computer. If you download the InstaPDF app for your Mac, you will then have access to all of your scanned documents at home and on the go.
If you're looking for an app that doubles as a scanner and fax machine, look no further than JotNot Scanner. You can try out the app for free and then upgrade to the pro version for $2.99. The free version lets you scan documents, receipts, whiteboards, business cards, etc. into electronic format. If you want to convert the documents PDF, JPG and BMP and email directly or upload to cloud drives, you'll need to get the pro version. Like other apps, JotNot utilizes image processing technology to remove unnecessary shadows and correct contrast. It also comes with its own camera stabilization feature for even better image quality. In addition, you can fax over these documents by purchasing credits. A single fax costs $0.99 and saves you a lot of hassle.
While there are a lot of great scanner apps out there, Scanner Pro gets our vote for editor’s choice. While it doesn’t offer as many bells and whistles as Prizmo, it is significantly cheaper and offers all of the features that average users will need. Its user interface is fairly intuitive and its automatic edge detection is fairly accurate. Even if the edge detection is off a little bit you can manually crop the image. What really takes the cake though is the fact that you can import images from your camera roll and give them the same image processing treatment as you would for images you took with the app.
As with any app though, you should choose the scanner app that best suits your needs. If you only require very basic scanning and don’t want to spend money, InstaPDF and Genius Scan might be a good fit. If you require more complex tasks like creating editable text files from your scans or sending business card scans to your Outlook contacts, Prizmo might be the better fit. If you want a good all-rounder that will create excellent scans and allow you to share via various methods for a good price tag, then Scanner Pro is the best bet.
Your turn! Have a favourite document scanning app that didn’t make the list or enjoy one of the ones above? Let us know in the comments below!