Apple Working On A Scanner App for iOS

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An inside source at Apple has told 9to5Mac that the company is working on a native scanner app for iOS. The app in question would turn the iPhone or iPad into a digital scanner. As Apple increases the quality of its mobile cameras, such an app will give customers a native solution for scanning on the go.

The app will work as follows:

  1. The user opens the app and holds the iPhone over the document or object they want scanned.  They then snap a picture of it.  Apple’s on-board software then resizes the image to ‘letter’ or business card, A4 or whatever depending on original document.  Resizing includes aligning edges that get skewed by a sigle scan point rather than traditional scanning methods.  The user can then manually change the size of the document or the use (biz card?)
  2. On board software then separates images blocks from text.
  3. This is where it gets murky.  At last word, Apple was trying to do OCR both on-device and using alternative cloud methods for recognizing text.  Third party Optical Character Recognition (OCR) vs. in house solutions were also being tested.
  4. The resulting file can then be saved as a PDF, .Pages, exported to contacts (in the case of business cards for example).

The app would presumably tie in with Apple’s own iWork suite for scanning documents into Pages. Apple has filed multiple scanning-related patents, so this type of an app could very well be real and in the works.

9to5Mac is uncertain if this app will be included in iOS 5 this Fall, so we can only hope.

What benefits do you see to Apple having its own scanner app for iOS?