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Scanning Documents From Your Smartphone

Scanning documents and photos is a big part of both business and personal computer use. Scanners can also be a huge hassle. Traditionally you would need to purchase a very bulky and cumbersome printer/scanner combo, or a standalone scanner. Fortunately, through the power of our smartphone camera and the very powerful applications that we can now run on our phones, scanning documents and photos is very simple. All you need is an app for your iPhone or Android. These apps can even extract text from scanned documents, and can connect with your favorite cloud sync service and sync your scanned documents to the cloud and your desktop. All of this is done in seconds. Technology is amazing!

There are many applications on the Apple App Store and the Android Google Play Store that can scan using your phone’s camera. Most scanning apps that are worth using do need to be purchased in order to use their full feature set, but it is very inexpensive. The question is, what app should I use? Well, I’m going to list my two favorite options, and why I picked them.

#1 – CamScanner – Free with a paid subscription upgrade – iPhone and Android –

CamScanner is a very well designed app that is incredibly straight forward to use. You are required to make an account in order to use the app, but the app will guide you through the process. Signing up for an account gives you the ability to sync your scans between multiple devices, such as your iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet, Windows 8+ device, and any computer by signing in on their website. In the free version of CamScanner you are giving 200mb of of cloud storage for your scans. If you choose to upgrade to premium you are given the ability to automatically upload scans to Google Drive, Box, Dropbox, Evernote, and OneDrive, and to edit and export text using OCR(Optical Character Recognition), plus you receive an extra 10gb of cloud storage, and more. In addition, you can lock down CamScanner using a passcode or your finger print so that no one else can view your documents.

#2 – ScanBot – Free with a a PRO version – iPhone and Android –

ScanBot is an awesome app. The free version is very basic, but very well done, and will scan your documents at a very high quality of 200 dpi(dots per inch) or higher, which is similar to a traditional desktop scanner. You can purchase the pro version within the app. You can choose different tiers ranging from $5.99 to $9.99 for different features. With the highest pro version you get OCR, searching within documents, folders and organization, automatic upload to your preferred cloud sync service such as iCloud Drive, Google Drive, Evernote, etc., Touch ID, and more. The downside with ScanBot is that you get less features in the free version then you do with other apps. 

In my opinion these apps are amazing. They have completely negated the need for me to purchase and use a traditional scanner. Not only is it more convenient being able to scan a document right from my phone no matter where I am, but I can also upload my scans directly to Google Drive and then share them with clients, colleagues, and friends. If only our phones could print without using a printer, wouldn’t that be great?

There are many other apps that you can use, and many of them are spectacular. If you find a different one that suits your needs better, that’s great! Having tried many of them, these are just the apps that I use and prefer. 

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