Scanner Pro is my new favorite scanning app for the iPad. It doesn’t do OCR, it doesn’t grab phone numbers from business cards. It just scans, stores, shares and searches your paper documents, and it does it with a beautifully simple interface.
The app is actually an update to the old iPhone version, but this new version (4.0) is completely redesigned and is now a universal app. And just in time, too, as the new iPad’s 5MP autofocus camera makes it a pretty great scanner.
To show you what it does, I’ll describe the act of scanning a sheet of paper. The app launches to your document library, and at the bottom are two buttons, one to import an image from your photo library, and one to use the camera. The photo option uses a beautiful, custom full-screen thumbnail browser (although annoyingly the camera roll is right at the bottom, meaning you have to scroll down every damn time).
But now we’ll use the camera. The camera view has a grid (which can be toggled on and off) and a shutter button. When you tap to take the picture, the app will wait for you to hold the iPad steady before it snaps the photo. This all but eliminates shaky shots. Once done, you are taken to the processing screen, which does a pretty good job of detecting the edges of the paper.
Next is the grayscale-ification page, where you set contrast and brightness levels. For plain black text on white paper, the auto settings work great.
Then, when you’re done, you are prompted to name the file, and then taken back to the first screen. From here, you can send the resulting file as a PDF or JPEG up to Evernote, Dropbox or Google Docs, or share on the local Wi-Fi network. You can also open the scan in any application that accepts PDFs or images, and even fax (fax!) and print direct from the app.
There are fuller-featured and fancier scanning apps out there (notably DocScan HD for iPad and the somewhat confusing Prizmo for iPhone), but for straight-up scanning, I reckon this one to be the best so far. And at just $7, it’s way, way cheaper than buying a scanner. Or a fax.