Despite Apple‘s best hopes and dreams to make the world go paperless with the iPad and the Apple Pencil, paperwork will always be apart of our lives. But so is technology, thankfully there is a way to fuse both of them together.
As a student, a writer, and journalist I am constantly writing things on paper, printing documents to sign, and/or use as a reference, and now with the world being under lockdown, documents are getting sent and shared digitally more than ever before.
That’s where Scanner Pro by Readdle comes in. It’s a that Apple has featured as Editors Choice, ranked one of the best productivity apps on the App Store, currently ranked #1 in Business and in the top 18 of paid apps on the App Store. On the surface its a scanner for your phone, in practice, it’s so much more. Let’s break it down:
Once you open the app you have a few options. Starting off with settings, we’ll talk a little more about that later on. But, from there you have access to everything you’d expect for an app. Then, you have a big orange button where the magic really starts to happen.
This is where ScannerPro has an edge over every single other mobile scanning app that exists, including Apple’s own built-in one within notes. A lot of times if you go to scan a document you’ll probably want to scan more than one page. Most apps require you to take a picture of the page, adjust the margins to extend to the corners of the page, save that page, go into some menu, press “Add New Page,” and then repeat. That process can get tiring and wastes an unnecessary amount of time.
With ScannerPro, it’s all hands-free. Once you point your camera to a document, ScannerPro automatically recognizes the pages, adjusts the corner, controls the lighting; hold the camera steady, and snap, scan taken. You don’t need to press a single button.
Once you scan your document, you are presented with all the pages you scanned. One small awesome feature is that if one of the pages doesn’t look right, you can simply re-scan that specific page without having to do the whole document. It seems simple, but yet the majority of scanning apps force you to retake the whole document, or if they do offer a per-page option, its tucked away in some obscure menu.
From here you can also share specific pages. So, let’s say you’ve taken a scan of a document but there’s only one page you want to share with one co-worker or friend. Instead of sharing the whole document, simply select that page and press share. It’s another small feature, but one that almost no other scanning app includes. In other apps, you’d be forced to save the whole document, try to print the document, select the range of pages to only the one or ones you want to share, then save it as a PDF, then eventually an hour later press the share button.
You can also duplicate, a page, copy a page, and paste a page into your current one from an older scan.
Moving on, you get to the name. Naming a document is crucial for an organization and keep tracking of what’s what, and also when it was scanned. ScannerPro goes the extra mile with this. Instead of simply offering you the ability to put a custom name, it suggests names for you. In our case, it suggests things names like Scan, Report, Letter, Tax, Insurance, and Receipt, etc…
Alongside those, you’ll notice the date and time. Those are put there automatically. Again, something that seems simple, but is missed out on so many other apps. If you do decide to put a custom name, the app uses the iOS keyboard to automatically suggest you put the date, the date and time, or just the date.
The best part? Once you use the app long enough, it’ll start to learn your naming habits. So if you often start your documents name with the date and time, it’ll suggest the date and time first on the keyboard. The same case if it were the time or just the date.
Have you ever taken a picture of a document on your phone, like a receipt after dinner, maybe your ID card, or a passport? Well, the next feature that ScannerPro brings to the table is something called Radar. Again, something it does that no other app has. Radar scans your entire photo library for any documents, passports, and/or even screenshots.
Now, I will be honest when I first played around with this I was skeptical of how much it would pick up, but to its defense, it does a great job. It was able to scan all 18,987 of my images on my phone in a matter of seconds. If you press the button in the bottom right-hand corner, it shows you the entire photo library with only the photos that it deems to be scannable highlighted, with everything else grayed out.
An awesome in-direct outcome of Radar is an image to PDF converter. I used to have to head over to some converter website, but now simply using Radar you can find that image of that document and get it turned into a PDF instantly.
The last main feature to highlight is OCR or optical character recognition. In easy terms, it turns the text in scans into actual text that you can copy, cut, and paste. Now, there are other apps that offer OCR, but there are a few reasons ScannerPro does it best. Firstly, is that it scans the whole document at once, not page by page. But, if you do want to scan individual pages you can head over to that page, and just select the text like you would any text body.
Secondly, it offers multiple language support. It supports English out the box, but heading into settings you can download language packages for German, Spanish, Russian, Turkish, more than 15 total languages to be exact. Thirdly is not something that’s shown in our screenshots but its ability to catch the smallest of details from special characters and numbers, and from my testing, it does a decent job with formating the text if it’s in paragraph forms.
There is so much more…
ScannerPro is packed with features, and I mean packed. Here’s a rundown:
You can change the paper size of documents from A4, to Letter, Legal, A3, and others, you can password-protect documents, the ability to create folders, automatically remove distortion and fix color settings for each scan, connect with cloud services such as iCloud, Dropbox, OneDrive, OneNote, Evernote, and others, Workflows which allows you to automate what happens once you finish a scan (like automatically uploading it to iCloud drive), create email templates based off document scans, the ability to share documents with nearby devices using Wi-Fi access, the app automatically reducing file sizes to optimize it for emailing and messaging, and so much more.
There is nothing we would change about the app. It is a productivity powerhouse for anyone who takes their digital work seriously. Now for the rating, ScannerPro has earned a solid 10/10 from us at Apple Terminal. It’s an app that focuses on every aspect of the user experience, taking into consideration even the smallest of things, it’s an app that is a pleasure to use. And that can’t be said for many.
It puts the Pro in Scanner Pro.