Do you have a mobile phone with a camera? If so, with the addition of one of the apps mentioned below, your phone can easily become a scanner. Not only can you capture the document’s image, these apps will convert it into a searchable PDF – meaning you can find specific words within the text – and upload it to cloud storage, email it and more. And, many of these apps can capture multiple pages – keeping them all together in one PDF document.
Does it provide the quality of a flatbed scanner? No, but the quality is still impressive and better than many of the library copies I’ve paid outrageous fees to get. Even the most expensive app listed here, will pay for itself with one trip to the research library. And, that’s assuming research is all you use it for. It won’t be.
Most recent photos – especially the iPhone 6 and 7 series – support higher resolution cameras. The latest iPod Touch, however, has a lower resolution camera than the iPhone and the scanning results will also be lower.
JotNot Pro Scanner [iOS – $4.99] lets you scan and enhance documents, receipts, whiteboards and more. You can add, remove and reorder pages within a document and password protect your document if necessary. Resulting documents can be shared by email, Dropbox, Box.net, Evernote, WebDAV and Google Docs. There are many features to enhance, organize and manage your scanned documents.
Pocket Scanner [iOS – $6.99] has most of the same scanning and sharing features found in JotNot, but appears to have a more functional reader that also supports adding captions and viewing Office, image, video, text and HTML files. It has a smaller audience, but very good ratings.
Scanner Pro [iOS – $4.99] supports both document and photo scanning. This app provides OCR (optical character recognition) functions with can make your scanned documents both searchable and editable. It also support easy export to all major cloud storage platforms.
CamScanner [iOS] and CamScanner [Android] offers both a free and pro version[$4.99]. The free version basically a trial version. You need the pro version to take advantage of its many features. It scans both photos and documents and includes tools to manage and reorder PDF files. It supports export to Google Docs, Dropbox, SkyDrive and Evernote.
Scannable [iOS] is a free scanning app from Evernote. It automatically finds the edges of the document you are scanning, captures and adjusted the image and saves it to Evernote or other apps. It supports both images and PDF documents.
Google’s PhotoScan [iOS] and Google PhotoScan [Android] is both free and impressive. It will capture and adjust your photos for you – including removing glare. Scanned photos are saved on your device, but you can then share or move them as you choose.