Paper is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. However, there are situations where you can’t avoid paperwork. Perhaps you need to physically sign an important document, such as a job contract, or maybe you’re dealing with an organization that still insists on using physical paper. When you need to deal with physical paperwork, a document scanning application can make things much easier. Simply scan the receipt for those office supplies or sign and scan the contract for your new job, and you’ll have a digitized copy of the physical paper document. Here are some of the best document scanner apps for iOS.
Note: you can find a list of the best document scanner apps for Android here.
There’s much be said for a completely free app that doesn’t run on advertising, data collection or all the other bugbears of ostensibly “free” software. QuickScan is an app made by a solo developer during lockdown who decided to help students struggling to afford digital tools for their education.
The great thing about this app is that it actually works really well. It has OCR, lets you export to PDF, TXT and other key formats, and has all kinds of neat quality-of-life features like edge detection. It was updated a short while back to integrate shortcuts straight from the app icon. These let you scan with pretty much one tap.
2. Notes (Integrated)
Why go through the effort of downloading a third-party app when iOS already has a document scanner built in? One of the better features of the Apple Notes application is that you can use it to scan documents.
On your iOS device, open the Notes application and create a new note. Then tap the grey “+” button followed by the little “Camera” icon. This will give you the option to “Scan Documents.”
Take a photo, and the document will be added to your Notes.
Another nice feature is “Markups,” which you can use to annotate the scanned document.
ScanPro offers excellent scan quality, thanks to features such as auto-optimization, blur reduction, shadow removal, and automatic edge detection.
ScanPro also integrates with popular cloud services, including iCloud Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, and WebDAV, and has ample sharing options.
The app boasts automatic text recognition (OCR). This gives ScanPro the ability to extract text from your scans, so let’s put this feature to the test!
After using ScanPro to scan my recipe, I just need to tap “Text -> Run OCR,” and the application will then extract all identified text.
My results were a little garbled, but it’s good enough for a shopping list – and much quicker than writing out the ingredients by hand!
4. Microsoft Office Lens
Microsoft Office Lens offers excellent usability features, such as text recognition and competent scanning, which is impressive for a free application.
After scanning a document that consists of an image and text, Microsoft Office Lens managed to successfully separate the text from the image portion of the scanned document.
Microsoft Lens has a dedicated Whiteboard Mode, where Lens automatically removes glare and shadow, and a Business Card mode where Lens extracts contact information and then saves it to your address book or OneNote.
If you don’t want to pay for a document-scanning application, then Microsoft Office Lens is a good performer, has excellent OCR, a simple user interface, image filters, and dedicated scanning modes for distinct results.
5. Evernote Scannable
Evernote Scannable for iOS captures documents and transforms them into high-quality scans. You can then share these documents or save them as either a PDF or a JPG. Additionally, you can use Evernote Scannable to turn your business cards into Contacts on your iOS device.
To get the most out of Evernote Scannable, I’d recommend using it alongside the Evernote application. By scanning documents with Evernote Scannable and then saving that document to Evernote, you can unlock additional features, including the ability to search the text inside your scanned documents.
You can use FineScanner to quickly scan documents and digitize them as either PDFs or JPGs.
This app also boasts text recognition. I put this extraction to the test with my list of ingredients, and again the results were garbled but good enough for something simple, like a shopping list.
FineScanner has a good selection of annotation functions, including the ability to create a signature and add it to the scanned document. This is ideal for approving official documents, such as employment contracts.
You can also use FineScanner to scan multiple separate pages and then combine them into a digital book.
Have you tried any of the above document scanner apps for iOS? If you have a photo that you want to edit instead of scanning, find out how you can edit photos in the Photos app in iOS. Also, don’t forget to check out some of the best widgets you should use in iOS 14.