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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Use Your Smartphone as a Photo or Document Scanner

Smartphones are quickly becoming an all-in-one replacement solution for many of the other technology based devices that we own. In another post, we reviewed how you can use your smartphone to control your television, Blu-ray player, etc… In today’s post, we will review how you can use an iPhone or Android phone as a replacement for a basic computer scanner.

Basic Scanner


The iPhone AppStore offers a variety of different options for scanner apps, but one of the best reviewed and most popular is an app titled Genius Scan. With a near perfect AppStore rating, Genius Scan serves as a basic replacement for a desktop scanner, but it also offers some additional features too.

Genius Scan

For example, with this app you can convert any scanned document into a PDF or JPEG file directly from within the app. Why is this useful? If you have several printed documents, such as recipes, that you would like to digitize and backup to your computer, you can simply scan them as PDFs. Of course, this app is very general and can be used to backup a digital copy of any document, not just recipes.

French Onion Soup App

Alternatively, you could even back the documents up to the cloud rather than your PC, if you wanted. The app offers direct PDF or JPEG export to Evernote,, Facebook, Twitter, Google Docs, Dropbox and More.

Export to Cloud Genius Scan

Now, that all seems cool, but why not just use the built-in iPhone camera to snap a picture of a document, then email it? Aside from direct PDF conversion, Genius Scan also incorporates:

Genius Scan Features


For Android users, the app CamScanner is a nice choice for scanning documents quickly and simply. This is another app that has received very good ratings from users, with nearly 30,000 perfect 5 star reviews.


The app is currently available for free, directly from Google Play.

Like the iPhone app mentioned above, CamScanner for Android offers similar direct sharing and upload features for the cloud and popular social networks. Thus, you can directly upload a scan from the app to Dropbox, Google Docs,, etc… very quickly.

CamScan in Google Docs

Additionally, this app is different from the basic camera on Android phones also. With this app, you can directly convert and save scans as PDF documents, auto crop scans, password protect documents and even batch scan and merge multiple documents.

Batch Scan Document App

That’s basically all there is to it. These apps, of course, do require a steady hand and movement. However, they are also simple to use and the user reviews for them back that. Now you can scan and digitize your important documents quickly and simply and back them up directly to the cloud. Thank you for stopping by the site for today’s post. If any of our site visitors use any other apps that they recommend over these, feel free to link to them in the comments section.

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