Your iPhone, Your Portable Scanner (No, Really)

Price: $6.99    Score: 10/10    By Michelle SchustermanScanner Pro

I will admit swallowing a pretty large spoonful of skepticism when I read the description of this app. An iPhone, a portable scanner? Really? With that little camera?

I thought it would just be a cool concept with a lot of potential, but without the clarity needed for professionals to make this a genuine substitute for a scanner. Clearly, I was wrong – Scanner Pro is a serious app.

Granted, taking quality pictures of your document requires a little bit of practice, and I also think that having an iPhone 3GS and its lovely autofocus will help loads. Once you’ve taken the shot (or chosen an image from your photo album), you’ll see it in preview, where you can adjust the brightness and contrast. You really can get a readable scan – and in a pinch, this could be extremely useful if you’re out of the office.

One thing Readdle really has figured out is how to design an app that offers plenty of features, but is really simple to use right from the start. It’s obvious that a lot of care has gone into the little details of the latest version (1.2.0). New features include uploading to Dropbox (in addition to other WebDAV enabled servers, like MobileMe iDisk or Humyo), and my favorite – integration with Print&Share, a great app I use frequently, so you can print your scanned documents from your iPhone.

Other features include transferring the doc to your desktop via wi-fi, emailing scanned docs, and setting password protection. Scanner Pro turns the documents into multipage PDF docs, even if the pages are different sizes. Another reason for iPhone 3GS owners to consider downloading this app is the ability to change the PDF to a Microsoft Word file with any desktop OCR tool, so you can edit.

The possibilities are amazing – one that came to mind was when I accepted a job working overseas over a year ago. There was a lot of extra work and annoyance getting the contract settled. Now I can envision a scenario where the papers are scanned and sent, opened and edited by the other party, and sent right back – all on an iPhone. Pretty cool.

For business personnel, Scanner Pro is a seriously useful tool. For nerds like me, we can now live out the fantasy of stealthily scanning and emailing top-secret documents from our phones like characters in a Dan Brown novel. Either way, at $6.99, the new version of Scanner Pro is one to check out.

Scanner Pro requires iPhone OS 2.2 or later and is compatible with the iPhone.

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