CamScanner+ App Review: Portable Scanning – Go Paperless, Digitise Mindmaps & A Whole Lot More

With CamScanner, your iPhone is actually a portable scanner, with which all your paper documents, receipts, notes, whiteboard discussions can be archived anywhere at anytime. The Smart Image cropping and Image enhancement algorithm ensures the scanned images perfectly clear and recognizable.

Cam Scanner App

What You Will Learn in This Video:

– Why Camscanner beats every other portable scanning App

– How I use Camscanner to Leverage time, save my mindmaps and all whiteboard diagramming

– Lateral ways to use Camscanner when you’re travelling

– Strategies to go paperless, period!

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CamScanner+ iPhone App Review


Welcome to the CamScanner Plus iPhone App Review. This is West. And I hope you are enjoying the series on app reviews. So let’s get straight into it.

CamScanner, if you haven’t heard of it, it’s an app that allows you to scan quickly and easily any type of document into your iPhone and have it converted to PDF or hi‑resolution JPEG images in order for you to then do whatever it is you want to do with it, whether it be storage or if you want to upload it to Dropbox or Google Docs or anything like that. So it’s got some really great capabilities. And I use this app quite a lot.

So this screen here is the screen that comes up when you open the app. Now I’m going to give you a really quick tour of the app. I’m going to then show you and teach you how I use the app in my life in order to get the most out of it, in order to leverage my time, and in order to make full use of the app’s capabilities in order to do ‘more with less’—which is one of my philosophies.

So just really quickly, if we start down the bottom‑left hand corner here, this is the tab that allows you to scan something or take a photo. Or if you’ve already taken a photo of the document or some form of material that you’d like to use in CamScanner, then you can just tap from ALBUM. So I’ve already got some samples in here that I will show you. So I’ll go ahead and do that. I’ll just tap CANCEL. These tabs down the bottom here allow you to change the view of the documents that you have scanned. So this is just a full‑on view. And this is kind of like a list view.

This tab here, what I really love about this app is it allows you to share your documents or whatever you’ve scanned by wi‑fi to your computer. So if you swivel that little switch on, it gives you a little address and it allows you to directly download your documents from your iPhone to your computer over wi‑fi, which is a pretty amazing little feature that I like as an upgrade from previous versions.

Now the SETTINGS tab up here, just allows you to play around with a few of the different features of CamScanner. I’ll talk more about the lighting and the magic color a little bit later on.

You get to then sync different accounts with Cam Scanner. So if you have a Dropbox account or Box.net, Evernote or Google Docs, then you can put those logins in for it to easily share it with later and a few other different features that you can have a play around with.

This feature here on the top right, once you tap it, allows you to select a certain document. And then from there, you can then choose to either share it to any one of these features or give it a tag—depending on how you want to classify your documents—or email it as a PDF. So it will automatically come up as a PDF. And you just need to type your recipient’s email in and it’ll email it for you, which is a very, very nice feature and very handy to have.

Now as far as the documents themselves, let’s take a look at the sample here given by CamScanner staff (this comes automatically with the app as kind of like a test). Once you scan a few documents, this is the interface that it comes up with. Now firstly, you can leave notes for each one by tapping on them. It allows you to tap this little icon here and you can leave little notes to yourself on it, which is really cool.

But I want you to look at the quality of the scan. The quality of the scan is insane. Now I didn’t quite understand this when I first got the app but if I just double‑tapped, it will come up. And this is actually a really big—I think it probably could be A1 or A2 size mind map—and you can see that it is just crystal clear and you can see everything as if the mind map was actually there. Now, obviously on an iPhone it’s a little bit limited in the terms of the size, but the quality of the picture, considering the iPhone’s camera, is insane. And what it does is it has a smart autofocus and it has a smart autocropping feature which allows you to do that so after you take a photo, it will usually allow you to crop it down. If I just tap up here—and you can see this feature here— I can hold and drag and it will allow me to choose the area which I like to crop. Once I’m happy with that, I then hit the tick and it will autocrop it to that. If you notice, it will get bigger and bigger and bigger and it will just turn the usable interface into a very highly readable document.

Now this is the Magic Color and the Contrast that you can play around with to get the best viewability. Here is the Brightness, adjusting that. And just the three different tabs here you can have a play around with to get the best looking feature so that you can save it later on. So I’m just going to go ahead and save that. But I really love that feature and that’s another improvement from the previous version where you weren’t able to do that; it would just do it for you.

Ways to use it:

So that’s pretty much the main tour of the app itself. Now I would love to share with you some of the ways that I use the app in order to really, really take full advantage of its potential.

So you noticed that CamScanner can take photos of virtually anything. I use it for notes. Once I’ve taken a note on a piece of paper or you’re chatting with someone and they’ve written down some cool notes or you might be with a friend and they’ve taken some cool notes at a seminar or an event or a lecture and you couldn’t be bothered taking them yourself or copying them down, you just basically open CamScanner, take some photos and you’ve got it. You can just create a PDF there and then; which is amazing.

Other incidental‑type documents like invoices or certificates that you need, a handy reference too, does really, really well. I also have used it for business cards but I actually have a business card app made by the same company called CamCard that I prefer to use specifically for business purposes which I might review at a later date. But if you don’t have that, then business cards are also a fantastic way to use this app.

Obviously, I also like to scan and save all my mind maps. So just like this one here, I use a whiteboard and I sometimes use a big sheet of paper A2 or A1 paper and just scribble down some thoughts on a project or an idea. And before, I would just sort of erase it and I wouldn’t keep it. And I would use the mind map for clearing my mind but it doesn’t know where for me to reference it later on. But with CamScanner, I can just basically record them all. I upload them all to Dropbox and I have a record now of all the mind maps that I’ve created and I can refer to them anytime that I want to. And I think that, yeah, it’s pretty awesome. I was very impressed by that feature.

Just any other incidentals that I use around the house. For example, movie tickets that you print out that has a number on it. I mean I don’t want to be carrying pieces if papers to the movies so I actually have been CamScanning them and just showing the receptionist, the attendant my iPhone with the number on it and they just give me my ticket.

Any P.O. (Post Office) box pick‑up forms that you need to carry, anywhere where you need to carry forms and paper to places…it just removes having to carry paper when you can show them the exact same digital format on your iPhone through CamScanner. I really like that.

Another way that I like to use it is when I’m traveling and I’m on a computer and I see a really cool thing that I need to refer to later on. For example, if I’m lost and I’m looking up Google Maps on where to go somewhere, I’ll bring the map up on the computer screen and I’ll CamScan the actual screen and take a photo of it so I could refer to it later.

Another way I’ve used it is booking hotels online rather than trying to save everything and email everything, I just go to my top picks and CamScan the details so it’s there, ready for me on my iPhone when I need it. It’s just a very handy tool to have around.

Now those are just some of the ways that I used it and the main ways. But obviously, you can use it in many, many other ways. It also beautifully creates PDF documents. So if you like having the document to, say, rather than large images, it converts that really well down to PDF documents.

So overall, it’s really handy and that’s why it’s always been on the front page of my iPhone.

Room for improvement:

Now just a few things. I always like to talk about some of the improvements that I see in the way that people could use it or in the app itself. Number one, to my knowledge, it doesn’t convert any scans into text as yet. I mean even for example, on this particular scan here, this is actually a screencap of some of the apps I’d like to review but it doesn’t convert that into actual text. Some scanners do but this one doesn’t. So I feel that that could be an improvement.

And the second thing is with a lot of the documents that you scan, you need to have very good lighting. So if it’s dark or it’s night or there are shadows—and most people aren’t very savvy with lighting—you’ll get bad scans. So you need to get it out into preferably sunlight or on your window with sunlight and make sure that the whole area of the document is lit. Otherwise, you’ll get dark spots and it won’t pick it up very well.

So overall, as I said, I think it’s a great app and I highly recommend it. It’s the best of its type in its category, hands down. You’ll see other ones there but this is my pick. And I’m going to give it a rating of 93%. It’s really helped me out in the past. And for the price that you pay for it, it’s extremely good value if you know how to use it properly. So thanks for listening.

Key Features of CamScanner:

– Scan multi-pages document—Scan and manage your documents which can include many pages.

– Creating PDF—Preview and create PDF files. (with or without your notes.)

– Save the images to Album—Easily to save the processed images into Album.

– Backup and Restoration—You can back up the data into your computer for highly confidentiality.

– Add Tags—Each page in the documents can add the tags and search by them.

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