Developments in mobile hardware and software have disrupted a number of prominent industries including transportation, banking, photography, and music. Furthermore, the transition of desktop tools towards mobile apps has been a prevalent occurrence since the introduction of the smartphone, from landline phones, modems, keyboards, to the imminent detachment of bulky scanners. This week, we focus on the migration of the desktop scanner to mobile solutions which are more affordable, convenient, and even practical. With the increasing number of mobile apps available on the Google Play Store, we list the top 5 must-have scanning apps for personal, business, and educational use.

For Working More Efficiently: Summary Scanner


Recently developed, Summary Scanner leverages proprietary software to automatically summarize documents in seconds using the phone’s camera. Utilizing resources such as OCR and Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithms, the app extracts relevant information in a body of text to provide a concise overview of the document, increasing the efficiency and speed of information consumption. This unique scanner offers an alternative to reading lengthy articles or books by creating short, easy to read summaries, making it perfect for the busy individual looking for an edge when going through large amounts of documents at a hyper-efficient pace. Beyond summarization, documents are also made editable and searchable with OCR to translate, edit, use text-to-speech, or store for offline access and is a must-have for those looking to increase their productivity.

For the Most Streamlined Scanner: Scanbot – PDF Document Scanner


Scanbot is one of the most user-friendly scanning apps on the Google Play Store. Most notably, the user is immediately taken to the photo-taking screen upon opening the app where, at the optimal resolution, the scanner will automatically take an image of the document. In situations where the image is too far or too blurry, Scanbot offers live, intuitive instructions to increase the quality of the scan. For even greater efficiency, continuous mode automatically scans documents as soon as it is able to detect the edges of a page, making it a streamlined process for multipage scanning with limited user interaction. While the scanner offers additional basic features such as cropping and cloud access, its ability to scan documents in a streamlined and automatic manner quicker than any other app makes it highly unique.

For Business and Professionals: Office Lens


Developed by Microsoft Corporation, Office Lens offers an easy-to-use suite of tools that make it one of the most popular scanners available. As a product of Microsoft, a key feature that distinguishes this scanner from others is its ability to convert images to PowerPoint, Word, or PDF which is automatically saved to OneDrive. Having the ability to instantly save images in different formats creates a streamlined method to store documents for multiple applications. With over 1 million installs, Office Lens provides the perfect solution to creating soft copies of physical documents from receipts, documents, or business cards with its edge detection and automatic cropping to create a clean, easy to read electronic copy. Free on Google Play, Office Lens is recommended for those with a desire to lead a paperless lifestyle.

For Convenience: Tiny Scanner


Tiny Scanner is anything but tiny, despite its name. Beautifully designed, the app offers a large array of solutions for those looking to scan and store physical documents onto their phone. With the accuracy of an industrial scanner at 1/100th of the size, Tiny Scanner offers multi-filters scans (colour, greyscale, and black & white) as well as brightness adjustments to enhance the readability of scans. Even in less optimal environments where documents may be dark or shadowed, Tiny Scanner automatically enhances the quality of the scan to make it industrial worthy. With both a free and paid version available, the scanner offers security features that are rarely found in competing scanners. Notably, the ability to password protect documents on the scanner offers an extra layer of security, restricting unwanted eyes from peering at sensitive documents, making it ideal for business and personal use.

For a Wide Range of Tools: Scan: Document, Receipt to PDF


As a newly released document scanner, Scan is a simply, all-in-one scanner that is ideal for a wide range of usages. With the ability to conveniently digitize physical documents, Scan is also a QR and barcode scanner for quick access to text, URL, ISBN, location, and other formats. With the increase in connectedness of devices, Scan allows users to print documents directly from the app or upload to Cloud services for greater access. The app ensures that the quality of scans are optimized using post-processing distortion and geometric correction in conjunction with border detection. With all of the features accessible in a beautifully designed app, Scan is the multi-tool of scanning apps, providing a wide array of functions that make transitioning into a digital copy of any document extremely simple.

What do you think of our list? Are there any apps that we missed that are on your list? Leave a comment below and tell us what you think!