Minimize clutter by digitizing old documents and paperwork using your Android smartphone or tablet. Installing the right app enables you to turn your Android device into a portable document scanner. Here are five remarkable examples of apps that can harness your device’s camera to quickly scan just about anything and then transform scanned images into PDF or other usable files. These apps can be downloaded for free from the Google Play store.
Quick PDF Scanner (MobiSystems)
Quick PDF Scanner is a free digital tool that can instantly turn your Android device into a portable document scanner. The app has focusing modes, as well as zooming, page-sizing and rotational controls for capturing minute details. It also allows for scanning to be done in batches, which is especially handy if you are scanning multiple pages. The scanned documents can be merged and saved as jpeg files or PDFs.
CamScanner (INTSIG Information Co.)
This popular and free scanning app has numerous useful features, including cropping, annotating and enhancing tools. CamScanner also lets you set a password to protect sensitive scanned files. After scanning documents into jpeg files and PDFs, you can readily send them to a nearby connected printer or fax machine–courtesy of CamScanner’s built-in controls.
PDF Document Scanner (Brandon Stecklein)
This free Android app allows you to save your digitized documents as PDFs. Like CamScanner, the PDF Document Scanner app comes with photo-processing effects to enhance scanned images. To get the best scans, consider using the camera flash to illuminate what you are scanning, and tap on the touchscreen interface to manipulate the app’s focus.
Genius Scan (The Grizzly Labs)
Genius Scan is a high-performing scanner app you can download for free from the Google Play store. Aside from allowing you to quickly scan documents into jpeg images or PDFs, this app can automatically correct the perspective if you fail to align the document properly when scanning. It also enables you to touch up and post-process a scanned image done in poor lighting. The post-processing is performed on your device, so you don’t have to worry about a third-party server being made privy to the contents of your scans.
PDF Scanner (GRYMALA)
What sets apart PDF scanner from other free scanner apps is its OCR system that has support for 50 languages. This feature enables you to extract letters from your scanned images and to convert them into usable text. The processing for PDF Scanner’s OCR system happens locally on your Android smartphone or tablet, so you don’t need network connection. There are digital tools for putting in your signature or annotation onto your scans. You can also highlight or erase certain details on your scanned images, as well as tweak the photo’s aspect ratio.