Back in the day, you had to carry your documents to a Xerox or similarly branded scanner to save your documents in digital form. Now, thanks to new advancements in technology, you can just pull out your iPhone, open a scanner app, and photograph the document. It’s that simple.
Even so, knowing which scanner app to pick is not easy. To help you decide which is for you, we’ve compiled a list of the seven best iPhone scanner apps and explained why they shine over so many similar choices.
1. Microsoft Office Lens
Microsoft Office is the go-to document and word processing software suite. As such, it should come as no surprise that they offer a great scanner app. Microsoft Office Lens lets you scan just about anything you want with written text, but it works exceptionally well on whiteboards, blackboards, and printed papers.
The app is free, so there’s no need to worry about an initial purchase. Even so, it has a robust feature set that makes it feel like a premium paid app. If there is one con, it is that curved surfaces often throw off OCR (optical character recognition). In such cases, it may read the words wrong.
- Scan whiteboards, blackboards, paper documents, business cards, and more.
- Easily convert your scanned images to Word documents, Powerpoint Projects, or PDFs.
- Text (both typed and handwritten) will be recognized and can be searched within the app.
2. Evernote Scannable
If any company can rival Microsoft and their office suite in the professional space it’s Evernote. Their Scannable app for iPhone allows you to quickly scan documents, contracts, business cards, and more. It is one of the faster scanning apps, as it will auto scan for you once you have the entire document in frame.
Evernote Scannable also has some deeper features, such as auto business card contact adding. That will allow you to scan a business card and instantly add the information as a contact in your phone. This app saves your documents as either JPG or PDF, giving you extra versatility.
- Open the app and point it at a document. It will automatically scan it for you.
- Saves as JPG or PDF for universal compatibility.
- Business card scanning allows you to pull information from the card and add to your phone contacts.
Scanbot has long been considered one of the best scanner apps on the App Store. It works extremely well with the iPhone, as the high quality camera lends itself perfectly to scanning documents. This app is capable of scanning documents and saving them in high quality. Once you have them saved, you can send them to your phone through traditional means like text, email, and fax.
Scanbot gets extra marks for its auto optimization feature. While you can go in and tweak the settings to enhance the look, the automatic setting gets it close to perfect every time. Overall, this is one of the most robust scanner apps on the App Store, and is extremely good at what it does.
- High quality scanning above 200 dpi.
- Ability to send scanned documents via fax right from your phone.
- You can enhance the scans by editing colors, or let auto optimization handle it for you.
If you’re reading this, you probably didn’t know the default Notes app on your iPhone has the ability to scan documents. All you need to do is open a new note, click the + icon, and select “Scan Documents.” You will then be able to take a picture of your document and save it as an image right on your phone.
You can also edit your scanned document after it has been taken. If you have too much outside around the document, you can crop it in, change the filter (color, grayscale, black and white, picture), and rotate it to get it perfectly straight. This is a good choice for those that don’t need any of the top end features offered by other apps.
- Built right into your iPhone, so no need to download anything.
- Simple to use, but still good quality.
- Ability to edit your documents to ensure they look as best as possible.
5. Genius Scan
There is almost a cult following for Genius Scan due to its amazing ability to scan documents without a hitch. It is one of the most accurate scanner apps we have ever seen, and it has a wealth of amazing features.
Their “Smart Scanning” technology makes scanning your documents a breeze. All you need to do is line up your camera with the document and let the app do its magic. It will remove the background and clean everything up, giving you the best looking image possible. It exports to PDF, which is another big bonus.
- Smart scanning technology removes background, clears distortion, and applies filters.
- Allows you to import and export as PDF, as well as create multi-page PDF files.
- Text recognition allows you to easily search through documents.
CamScanner is a well-respected app because of its exceptional scanning quality. While it has a solid feature set, the final product is the true draw here. Once you scan the document and auto enhance, you’ll get a crisp, digital version of your document every single time.
Another great feature of CamScanner is it gives you the ability to e-sign your documents right in the app. That saves you a lot of time in the long run. Sharing documents here is a breeze as well.
- Smart cropping and auto enhancing make your document look great.
- Can use e-signature to sign documents right in the app.
- Can share documents easily in multiple ways (email, text, save to cloud, etc.)
7. Adobe Scan
Who better to make a document scanning app than Adobe? This app not only has great features, it comes from one of the most trusted brands in the business. If you’re a fan of Adobe’s products, this one’s for you.
You can easily scan a document with Adobe Scan and save it as either a photo or PDF. Where this app excels is in the enhancements and clean ups. Much like Adobe’s other software (Photoshop, Lightroom, etc), you have a lot of tools to clean up and enhance your scans. The final results all look fantastic.
- Create either a photo or PDF scan of your documents.
- Enhance your scans to make them look as readable as possible.
- Clean up any unwanted marks or handwriting.
The above options are not the only available scanner apps for your iPhone, but they are the most effective. Each one comes highly recommended and has excellent features similar programs can’t match. As they are all so good, the one you end up going with comes down to your own personal preference. Simply choose the one you like and get scanning today.
Do you still use a physical scanner, or is it all by phone? Let us know in the comments below!
Jessica is the co-founder and content manager here at AnySoftwareTools. She has been fascinated by the startup culture in Silicon Valley and she loves building things from zero to one. When she is not writing, she loves getting close to nature and shoot photos with her iPhone and Canon EOS 80D.