Thu, 03 Jan 2013 ABBYY FineScanner review
Useful iOS app turns your iPhone, iPad into a mobile scanner
- Manufacturer: ABBYY
- Manufacturer: ABBYY
- Pros: Potential to produce excellent photos scans; useful editing tools; ability to create PDF documents as well as JPEG images, batch processing; powered by ABBYY's "unique image processing technology."
- Cons: Not compatible with older iPhones, iPads, iPod touches; Dropbox and Google Docs compatibility currently disabled, quality of scans dependent on light and location; Low JPEG setting poor.
- Min specs: Compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation), iPad 2 Wi-Fi, iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, iPad (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi + 4G, iPad (4th generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (4th generation), iPad mini and iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. Optimised for iPhone 5.
- Price: £1.99
- Star rating:
With the right choice of apps installed you can turn your iPhone or iPad into a virtual Swiss Army knife of useful tools that can make daily tasks that bit easier. Among those useful, likely essential, apps is FineScanner from ABBYY. Billed as a specialist in document recognition, document conversion, data capture and linguistics technologies, ABBYY offers a range of solutions for business. However FineScanner, has much wider appeal, allowing users to quickly and without fuss scan photos and text using Apple's built-in iSight camera. When you consider that the iPad and iPod touch now come with decent 5-megapixel cameras you can produce impressive results even if your camera skills aren't that great. While it’s useful to scan receipts and hand-written notes, the app is great for visually capturing anything from food ingredients from supermarket packets to old photos and letters.
FineScanner still needs a steady hand for the best results, as the actual scanning consists of taking a photo. Users can fine-tune those photos, adjusting and cropping the part of the image you actually want to keep. Additional options include adjusting contrast and converting to either greyscale or black and white, which is useful should you need to print something later. Users can also select single-page or multipage document creation mode and process photos individually or as a batch.
FineScanner lets users turn Flash on and off, which is just as well, as while Flash may hide a few wrinkles, it can easily remove vital details such as booking information or timetables details, while snapping on your travels. The app offers three JPEG quality settings - High, Normal and Low - the later should be avoided, especially if you have an older iDevice. We liked the ability to edit images from your camera roll, tag images and create new tags along with the ability to create both JPEG images and PDF documents. FineScanner offers a fair mix of sharing options, including the simplest, sending an email, although support of Dropbox and Google Docs is disabled in the version we reviewed due to what ABBYY calls: "several technical difficulties." ABBYY also notes that FineScanner either doesn't support or is not recommended for older Apple devices that lack auto focus functions.