Scanmobile Turns iPhone Camera into Portable Scanner

Price: $4.99     Score: 9/10     By A. PapachristosScanmobile

Before the creation of the all-in-one printer, easy access to a copier, scanner or fax machine was slim.  When desperate, one would have to run to the nearest office supply store and pay them to do the task for you.  However, having access to such contraptions in your home still does not help when, like most, you are on the move and simply can’t afford to slow down.

But, with Scanmobile by LocBay Ltd, iPhone users will never have to slow down again.  Scanmobile turns your phone’s camera into a quick, convenient and affordable scanner so you can copy and share text and documents everywhere you go.  Plus, the portable scanner now in the palm of your hand employs smart optical transformation technology that turns any picture into a clear, readable document as if you just used an actual scanner or copier.

For anyone who has ever tried to take a picture of text on paper, or perhaps even a board, you know that the camera’s quality distorts the photo, making it grainy, uneven and sometimes hard to read.  Such shabby quality is certainly not something you can pass along to a colleague or anyone of importance for it does not look professional in the slightest.  However, Scanmobile eradicates this problem by cleaning up the digital noise.  Scanmobile will remove any shade or unwanted light that may be detracting from the photo, as well as automatically adjust the document so it looks as if it were indeed laid flat on a scanner.  This, combined with the automatic sharpening of the lines’ texture, brings about the final product: a PDF document that can be sent via email right within Scanmobile itself.

When you startup Scanmobile, you will first need an image.  Users may use the file icon in the bottom left corner to access a pre-existing image, or use the camera icon in the bottom right corner to take a new picture right within the application.  Once you have approved the photo, Scanmobile will load the image and the auto-detection will set preliminary cropping parameters, though these can always be adjusted by hand by the user if they so choose.

To label your new document with a name, use the third icon in from the left in the bottom navigation bar.  Next to that, users will find an icon that lets them return the cropping parameters back to the original suggestion in case they attempt to adjust things on their own and are displeased.

Next to that, users will find another icon, this time allowing for the rotation of the photo before processing.  When rotating, I suggest proceeding slowly because, after multiple attempts at rotating numerous different documents, I found that rotating often led to Scanmobile freezing and then crashing, leaving me to start over.  While this may seem significant, I would hardly consider this flaw to be detrimental to the app’s overall convenience.  Though I’m sure this is bound to be fixed in future updates, as long as you proceed with caution at the moment, you should find you have no problem.  Simply have patience.

After your image has processed, you will see that the results are just what is promised.  Your image will now look like a scanned or copied document, as if you used the real thing.  Even handwritten notes come out looking clearer than the original image, and may even be more vibrant than the actual notepaper itself.  Everything truly looks like a photocopy.  Once you are satisfied, simply save your image you your photo library for future reference, or send it right along as the resulting PDF file via email.

While iPod Touch users can get some use out of Scanmobile by using pre-existing photos of text already saved to their photo library, the application becomes void of all the convenience it has to offer, basically making the investment a waste of money for users of said device.  However, anyone with an iPhone who ever has or ever will need a photocopier or scanner-like apparatus in the palm of their hand at any given moment shouldn’t hesitate to spend the $4.99, for the convenience will pay for itself after one use.


Scanmobile requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.

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