Whether for educational or professional purposes, most smartphone owners at some point in time will likely find themselves looking for a decent document scanner app. While some apps are exclusively available for the Android ecosystem, others exist on iOS. However, some apps provide a relatively similar experience on both operating systems.
The best scanning apps on iPhone and Android should be easy to use, allow users to export documents in the form of PDFs, provide editing tools to modify the documents, and, most importantly, shouldn’t show too many disruptive ads. With that in mind, here are the best scanning apps on iPhone and Android. While most of them are free to use, some rely on ads.
10 Fast Scanner
First up is FastScanner, a rather popular app on the Play Store, where it has over 10 million downloads and 188,000 reviews with an average rating of 4.4 stars. An iOS version of the app is also available on the App Store. The interface is simple on both operating systems, with the scanner button located toward the bottom.
Once users scan the required document, the app automatically aligns to its edges or users can select the edges manually. Fast Scanner also provides several filters to apply to the image before saving it. Users can also save more than one image in a document. To share documents from the app, users can email them in PDF or JPEG format. The Android version also allows adding a password to a PDF.
9 TurboScan PDF
TurboScan PDF scanner is available as a free app on App Store and Play Store. It offers slightly better page detection and highlights the document in red, making it stand out from the background for editing. The app also provides frame adjustments, gray-scale settings, and the option to add pages before saving.
What’s unique is that a SureScan mode clicks three images of the same document and then merges them for better clarity. Users can also import pictures from their gallery and convert them to documents. The sharing options remain the same as that of the previous app.
8 Document Scanner
Document Scanner by Lufick is another entrant that works for both Android and iPhone. On the Play Store, it has over 10 million downloads and over a million reviews, giving it an average rating of 4.5 stars. On the App Store, the app has 80K reviews and a similar overall rating. Although the user interface is easy to navigate, it does contain ads, which might get annoying if a user is in a hurry.
On Android, the app offers several camera modes for scanning documents, including ID cards, books, signatures, QR codes, and more. These modes apply automatic edge detection and color filters. The app has additional markup tools for adding text or signatures to a document. Users can also save the PDF directly on their phones or attach it to an email from the app.
7 Clear Scan
Clear Scan, an app by Indy Mobile App, is available on Play Store (over 300,000 reviews) and App Store (over 11,000 reviews). It offers a uniform user interface across both operating systems, albeit with ads. Users can import photos from the gallery, click fresh ones on the home screen, and convert them to documents.
The scanner provides three options, Single for one image, Batch for adding several images to a document, and ID Card. Clear Scan’s algorithm does a nice job of detecting the edges of a paper or the document in hand. It also has options to erase a specific image part and adjust brightness, contrast, and saturation.
iScanner, by BP Mobile LLC, is yet another app to cross 10 million downloads on the Play Store. iPhone users can also install the app from App Store. While the app’s size is 70MB on Android, it goes all the way up to 280MB on iOS. However, it only provides a three-day free trial, following which users have to pay $14.99/year to use the app.
It is one of the most capable apps on the list. iScanner provides multiple modes for capturing ID cards and passports, solving math problems, measuring an object’s length, and scanning QR codes. Interestingly, the app can also count similar objects in a frame, a feature that could be useful for small businesses. Other features include adding signatures, markup tools, locking folders with PIN, and more.
5 Genius Scan
Genius Scan by The Grizzly Labs is among the best scanner apps for iPhone and Android, and here are three reasons why. First, the app has one of the simplest user interfaces. The home screen has a camera button on Android and a plus button on iOS, letting users scan their documents. Unlike other apps, Genius Scan allows users to scan multiple documents in one go, making the app ideal for submitting exam papers and other multipage documents. Last but not least, the app doesn’t show any ads, which speeds up the overall process.
4 Adobe Scan
Adobe Scan is among the best and most popular scanning apps for smartphones. It has over 100 million downloads across app stores and an average rating of 4.6 stars on the Play Store and 4.8 stars on App Store. Adobe is known to provide the best utility apps for computers and phones, and this one is no different.
While scanning documents through the app, one can use auto-capture, a feature that looks for the document type, enables/disables the flashlight, suggests different modes, and automatically adjusts the edges. There’s an option to import files from the gallery or photo library as well. If users take the image at an angle, the app tries to straighten it, and in most cases, it does a great job.
Adobe Scanner also offers tools like Crop, Rotate, Filters, Cleanup, Markup, and Resize. Although the app’s free version doesn’t allow users to share their documents as PDFs directly, they can still save the PDF on their device and email it or share it via another app.
3 Google Drive
Most people by now are familiar the Google Drive app, but it has a hidden feature. The cloud storage platform provides a document scanning feature that helps users convert hard copies into digital PDFs. Further, the app saves these PDFs directly to users’ Google Drive storage so they can access them on the go. To scan a document using Google Drive, open the app, tap the plus button in the bottom right corner, and hit the ‘Scan‘ button.
Then, place the document in the required position using the on-screen viewfinder and hit the shutter button. Repeat the process for adding multiple images to the same document, and then hit ‘Save‘ in the bottom right corner. Google Drive also offers features like color correction and the option to rotate and crop images. The app is one of the most efficient ways to scan documents on Android phones.
2 Apple Notes
One of iOS’ native apps, Apple Notes, can scan documents. All users have to do is open the app, hit the new note button in the bottom right corner of the screen, and then press the camera button above the keyboard. From the pop-up menu, select ‘Scan Documents,‘ position the document so that iPhone’s camera can see it, and tap the shutter button to click an image.
The app does surprisingly well in picking corners of the document. Once done, users should hit the ‘Save‘ button in the bottom right corner. This saves the image as a PDF in the current note. To share, users should tap on the scanned document, hit the share button in the top right, and select from the list of apps. Apple Notes shares the scanned images as PDFs. There’s also an option to save the PDF directly to the phone’s memory. The feature is also available on iPads.
1 Microsoft Office Lens
Microsoft Office Lens is perhaps the best scanner app for iPhone and Android, and here’s why. It opens right into the scanning interface with a recognizable shutter button at the bottom. Then there are modes like Actions which has three tools that can extract handwritten texts from documents and translate them to other languages. There’s a dedicated whiteboard mode that can capture notes.
Once users scan the required document, they can apply filters, crop it, add text, draw over it with a stylus or their finger, and, most importantly, reorder the scanned pages. Finally, Microsoft Lens lets users save the image to the local photos app as JPG files, save it as a PDF in the device’s storage, and other connected Microsoft apps, including OneNote, Word, and PowerPoint. There’s an option to export the document to third-party apps like WhatsApp, Gmail, etc.