Best App for Photo Documentation

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Taking pictures of documents is a lot more popular than you may think. In fact, photo documenting your bills or identifying any type of document has become very popular in recent years. The reason for this is because there are people who like to collect and put their personal items in one place. They really don’t have time to do a whole lot of organizing but they do know that if they have a well organized file, then they will be able to find the important document they need at any given time.

Professional photos are a good way to save your time when you have to create a presentation for your project. Basically, people prefer professional images and that’s why you have here the list of best apps for photo documentation. According to survey conducted in one reputable family firm, providing the images from phone camera is not good enough for their presentations.

Smartphone cameras are getting better every year and I am sure you have already used them as photo or document scanners. You will often find yourself in a situation where you’d have to scan and share an important document over your phone. Or perhaps you are interested in maintaining a digital repository of your old photo album or often take picture notes. 

However, the process could be a lot simpler and effective if you’d use an app specifically designed for the purpose. You can avoid issues like glare and uneven exposure, especially in indoor lighting.

Difference between Photo Scanning and Document Scanning apps:

Such scanning apps are broadly classified as photo and document scanners. Document scanning apps aggressively enhance the contrast and saturation to make the text more readable and mostly allow you to save documents as PDFs. On the other hand, the Photo scanning apps apply a more balanced color enhancement and allow you to save scans as images and to club them in an album.

Most apps, however, can do both – document and image scanning. Even dedicated document scanning apps like Adobe Scan have ‘Original Picture’ mode that can be used for photo scanning.

So let’s get started with some of the best document and Photo Scanner apps that you can use on Android and iPhones.

1. Google Photo Scan

Google Photo Scan is certainly one of the best photo scanners around. Just place the object you need to scan in the given frame, move your camera to the 4 corners and you are done. The app uses all corner images to enhance the main image and, more often than not, the result is glare-free scan even when you use the flashlight.

You don’t even need to download a separate app. The functionality is already there in Google Photos App that comes pre-installed on most Android phones

Key Features:

  • Accessible via Google photos, you don’t need a separate app.
  • The app is expert at eliminating glare in images. Flash is on in the process, which makes it suitable for use in indoor lighting.

Download on Android & iOS

2. Office Lens

Office Lens is a photo scanner app from Microsoft. The app has preset for scanning photos, document, business card and whiteboard. You can either shoot images through the app or import them from the gallery. Unlike other apps in this list, office lens lets you decide the resolution of your scan.

Office lens allows you to add stickers, edit images, apply filters, add blur, and even doodle over scanned documents and images. You can directly upload them to your OneDrive or to the Microsoft Office suite of apps.

Key Features:

  • Its biggest strength is the option to toggle scan resolution. The final scan resolution is also higher than most other apps on this list including Google’s Photo Scan.
  • The app has separate Photo, Document, and business card presets. Color enhancement and cropping algorithms are pretty good.
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Download for Android and iOS

3. Adobe Scan

Adobe Scan more of a document scanner than a photo scanner that comes from a renowned brand.  Yup, the name Adobe associated with it sounds reason enough to try it. The app can automatically detect a document in the viewfinder, or you could press the shutter manually.
The clicked image is that cleaned and corrected to resemble a scanned document. You can also stick to the ‘original photo look’ if that’s what you’d rather prefer (or if you are scanning photos). The app has a few editing options and can save multiple scans as a single PDF file conveniently.

Key Features:

  • Very efficient at scanning documents and saving them as PDFs.
  • Multipage PDFs supported.

Download for Android and iOS

4. Photomyne

Photomyne has been designed keeping photo scanning in mind. You can click and organize your images in a separate album and share them with your friends and family.

You can use the app to scan multiple images and is very deft at recognizing image edges and is intelligent enough to automatically rotate them when required. The app is free for the first 7 days but requires a monthly subscription thereafter.

Key Features:

  • The app lets you organize photos in neat albums.
  • The app is very good at detecting image edges and cropping.

Download for Android and iOS

5. Cam scanner

Cam scanner is one of the most popular image scanning apps that you can use for both document and photos. The App can automatically crop image and document edges and has a number of post-processing filters that you can use.

Other features include options to click and import images from the inbuilt camera app, OCR tool, and option to change contrast and saturation.

Key Features:

  • Multipage PDF support.
  • Cloud upload and sharing.
  • Works seamlessly and has everything most people need.

Download for Android and iOS

6. Scanbot

Scanbot is an option you can consider if you need to scan documents or photos very frequently. The app has a free version too, but most of the features are reserved for the paid version (one-time fee).

The best part about Scanbot is its interface and efficient scan algorithms. You can turn auto upload on and access all scanned documents directly on your PC or other devices.

Key Feature:

  • The app gives onscreen advice and assistance while capturing images and that makes a difference.
  • Plenty of useful editing options.

Download for Android and iOS

7. FineScanner Pro (by Abbyy)

Best for scanning books

FineScanner Pro by Abbyy

With a price tag of $59.99, FineScanner Pro by Abbyy is not an impulse buy. But it’s the app to get if you have heavy duty scanning in your future. One of its standout features, called BookScan (in the iOS version only), lets you digitize bound books by simply pointing your phone camera at them. The app automatically detects the edges of each page and snaps a scan without you having to press a button. It then corrects the resulting image for distortion near the binding and splits facing pages into two.

In my testing, the OCR automatically digitized the three book pages in about one minute. While I saw errors in the final, editable text, they were almost entirely in difficult sections, such as breakout boxes and displayed equations. Paragraphs of text came out nearly flawless. FineScanner preserved the spacing of a table with aplomb, and the app turned out far fewer errors than any other mobile scanning and OCR app I tested.

In the other tests, FineScanner did an excellent job. Only one document required a little bit of edge adjustment, which you can do at any time with files saved in the app. It couldn’t digitize the text on the color certificate, but all the other files converted to text in less than a minute each.

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In terms of output, FineScanner can generate a PDF, share by email, send files to a cloud service, open files in another app, print them, or save them to your camera roll or default app for images. FineScanner Pro recognizes 193 languages in its OCR and can output to 12 file types, including .docx, epub, searchable PDF, .rtf, and .txt. It’s hands-down one of the most impressive mobile scanning and OCR apps.

Price: $59.99; subscriptions available from $2.49/month; free limited version also available Available on: Android, iOS

8. Microsoft OfficeLens (when used with OneDrive and Word)

Best for free use

Microsoft OfficeLens

OfficeLens by Microsoft is a free scanning app that can run OCR on images with text, but only when you use it in conjunction with other apps, namely OneDrive and Word. It requires a Microsoft account, but all the apps are free. The OCR processing doesn’t happen in the OfficeLens app itself. Rather, you must save the image as a .docx file to OneDrive and then open it in Word (mobile app, web app, or desktop app) to get the workable text. Having to use a second app doesn’t give you the same convenience that you get from other mobile scanning and OCR apps, but if you can spare the hassle of jumping to another app, you might find better accuracy in the final product than what you get from some of the one-stop shops. Plus it’s all free.

I was impressed with the final output on the book pages test. When I opened that file in Word, I saw complete paragraphs that read well and very few mistakes in the displayed equations. Word did turn three scanned pages into nine typed pages with huge swathes of empty space between some sections, but overall the quality was very high. The table looked nearly flawless. There were a few places in the text where the OCR didn’t seem to render, and instead of making a garbled guess, Microsoft instead swapped in a clip of the image (see above). It’s a great approach because I as a human can quickly read the text in the image and type what I see, saving me the time of comparing the incorrect digitized text to the original.

OfficeLens has four scanning modes: Business Card, Document, Whiteboard, and Photo for when you’re taking pictures of anything other than writing. The app has sharing options for opening the file in another app, saving the image locally, and printing, in addition to options for working with other Microsoft products. For example, you can save files as PDFs, OneNote notes, PowerPoint decks, or share to Outlook or another email app.

Price: free Available on: Android, iOS, (also available on Windows and Hololens)

How to scan photos on an iPhone

When you think about scanning documents, do you picture a bulky piece of equipment in the corner gathering dust? Well, you might be surprised to learn that you can now use your iPhone to scan important documents or old photos, instead.

Using a photo scanner app, you can automatically remove glare and distortion from your images, leaving you with a high-quality image in the correct proportion. With apps offering helpful features such as automatic edge-detection, color restoration and cropping, digitizing your treasured photographs has never been simpler.

Whether you need to scan photographs, bank statements, or receipts, here are some of the best photo scanner apps for iPhone – with both free and paid options.

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How We Chose the Best Mobile Scanning and OCR Apps

To verify how well the apps work, I scanned four different items using each app:

  1. a standard black and white retail receipt that was a little wrinkled,
  2. an oddly shaped document with both black-on-white and white-on-black text, plus handwritten numbers,
  3. a color certificate with a seal, signature, and several different typefaces, and
  4. three consecutive book pages that include displayed equations and a table.
Four documents used for scanning and OCR tests

Note that I didn’t cherry-pick a document that would be easy. With any scanning app, you’ll get best results when working with flat, single-sided, standard size pages of crisp black text in a single typeface (sans serif, ideally) arranged in paragraphs on white paper. Fading, folding, tearing, book bindings, variations in ink saturation, and other factors can trip up OCR. Life, however, rarely gives us pristine documents.

I used each app in the same natural light conditions against the same background, a wood floor. When available, I used any auto-scanning features in the app that were relevant to that particular text. For example, FineScanner Pro by Abbyy has a special setting for scanning book pages, which I used on the fourth test. Other apps have settings to indicate whether you’re scanning a document, receipt, or a whiteboard.

I went into this experiment thinking I might see subtle differences in terms of how well each app processed color or how many errors I could count among the OCR texts. And I assumed I’d end up with around 10 apps that I could easily recommend. That wasn’t the case. When the wheat separated from the chaff, there wasn’t a lot of wheat left.

While narrowing down the list, some apps didn’t meet basic requirements and others performed poorly. For example, Evernote has an excellent scanning function that creates searchable PDFs out of practically anything you throw at it, but it doesn’t give you editable text. One app failed to scan and properly crop the standard receipt (the easy test, which most other apps passed with flying colors). Another cut off all the margins from my certificate and didn’t offer any tools for correcting the cropping after the scan was complete.

In the end, these apps successfully scanned my documents and converted them to editable files. And the results weren’t perfect. I did find errors in the text. Not every document looked perfect on the first scan either, but I never had to try more than twice to capture a clean image. Nevertheless, scanning and turning a piece of paper into an editable document from your phone sure beats having to type it, even if you have to make a few corrections. Keep in mind, too, that your results may vary depending on the type of media you need to scan and its physical condition. You could have remarkable results if your job involves clean, crisp pages of text.

Conclusion

The term “documentation” is widely used in projects. It is important to keep a record of everything concerning the project and not just for a particular group or person. The photos play a vital role in documentation as they can provide evidence, show better understanding of the case, allow flexibility to re-use previous assets, produce narratives and share information with other colleagues.

Best app for photo documentation. Photo editing application of documents With the spread of smartphones, taking pictures is easier than ever. The possibilities for making pictures are endless and the quality of pictures is better than ever before. One common problem that most people face with taking pictures nowadays is the sheer amount of pictures they have to go through. It can be pretty overwhelming if you’ve taken hundreds or even thousands of pictures in just one day.

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