Nowhere is your iPhone or iPad’s versatility more apparent than when using an app like Scanner Pro to turn it into a portable scanner. Thanks to the high resolution camera on the back of most recent iOS models, you easily capture digital copies of documents as well as printed photos, but what apps like Scanner Pro do is allow you to go further to both enhance and optimise your digital copy for a variety of uses.
Scanner Pro is aimed squarely at those looking to digitise old receipts, paper notes, whiteboards and other documents. You "scan" your document by snapping it with the rear camera, then crop in, adjust brightness and contrast and perform various other tweaks before finally producing your finished copy, which can subsequently be synced to other iOS devices via iCloud or uploaded to your Dropbox, Google Drive, and Evernote accounts. You can also share scans via email.
The app produces excellent results thanks to its use of various algorithms to automatically sharpen scans, remove shadows and – to a lesser degree – correct the perspective where the original scan isn’t quite straight, all in the name of producing a more readable electronic copy of your document. These algorithms prove crucial as you can’t always guarantee perfect light or a rock-steady shot.
Documents are saved as PDFs, making them readable on a variety of devices, but there are no OCR facilities included. Note that while the app does a good job of trying to frame the document for you, feel free to tap the < button to manually frame it yourself or exclude unwanted portions of the document.
The end result is an app that delivers really good results in a relatively short space of time, making it particularly useful for multi-page scanning. There are other scanning apps out there – including some good free alternatives – but the ease of use and excellent results make this a compelling app.
Note: from January 2nd-9th 2014, Scanner Pro is free on the App Store.