iPhone Life magazine

Top Three Multi-Purpose Scanner Apps

Apparently, developers have finally recognized the need for a utility that lets users scan images and documents on the go. The number of scanning apps has increased dramatically in the last six months to a year. Predictably, the performance of a scanner app is affected by several different environment variables, including lighting, amount of text you're scanning, whether it's handwritten or printed text, and how still you can hold the camera when you take the picture. Still, these apps add a needed feature to the iPhone. Here are three of the best.

Scanner Pro

$6.99, app2.me/2948

ScannerProScanner Pro transforms the iPhone into a portable scanner, allowing you to scan single or multi-page documents and send them to a friend or associate. You can attach the scanned documents to an e-mail or upload them to Dropbox, MobileMe iDisk, or any other WebDAV-enabled server. You can also send it to any FTP application and even transferred it to your Mac or PC via Wi-Fi.

In addition to Evernote integration, Scanner Pro also boasts the ability to scan business cards, receipts, notes, and whiteboards, and subsequently e-mail them using special algorithms to enhance image quality and make the scan as readable as possible.

Scanner Pro's menu interface is refreshingly clean and straight-forward; all the icons are all labeled, instructing you exactly where to go/what to do. It allows you to add, move, delete pages, and even create multi-page documents in landscape and portrait orientations. Scanner Pro performs exactly as advertised. Its extensive feature-set makes it a very useful and dependable tool for anyone needing to scan, view, or share documents on-the-fly.

Smart Scanner

$1.99, app2.me/2949

SmartScannerSmart Scanner allows users to scan printed information, such as magazine articles, book pages, etc. in real time and use the app's Optical Character Recognition feature to translate it into electronic text. The text document can be sent as an e-mail attachment or stored within the app for future reference. Scanned phone numbers and URLs are hot links; you place a call (on the iPhone) or open a Web page by simply tapping the link on the scan screen. Smart Scanner is reliable and accurate. It's interface is intuitive and easy to use, making it a clear stand-out among its app-store rivals.

JotNot1JotNot Scanner Pro

$4.99, app2.me/2950 (a free "Lite" version and a "Single Page" version are also available)

JotNot Scanner Pro is the easiest to use of these apps and performs as well as the others. It sports a simple, linear interface that's easy to use. Simply take a photo of the text or document you're interested in (or select one from your Camera Roll), select the area you want to save, and click "Process" to enhance the image. When you're satisfied with the image, scan!

The app offers a number of preset and processing options. You can send the scanned document via e-mail or export it to Evernote, WebDAV/iDisk, Google Docs, Dropbox, or Box.net.