Adobe Scan is a fast scanning app for your phone
Adobe’s new app can scan anything from a document to a receipt, but you need the Acrobat Document Cloud subscription to take full advantage of its features
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Improved camera quality has made smartphones into powerful scanning devices. Adobe’s latest app Scan is another scanning app which can help smartphone users transform their physical documents into more easily shareable digital files in a matter of seconds. A free app with no subscription, Adobe Scan is available for both iOS and Android platforms. To use it, users need to login with their Adobe account. This is required to allow the app to sync the scanned files with other Adobe apps on the smartphone such as the Acrobat Reader. The new app will be competing with Microsoft’s free Office Lens and CamScanner which allow high quality document scanning and support OCR tools as well.
How it works
Adobe Scan wastes no time and opens the scanning interface first thing when the app is opened. Scanning a document is simple and like most other scanning apps, users need to bring the camera over the document, tap to focus and then press the scan button. It can scan automatically too, but takes a little time.
The app offers a few editing options before the file can be saved in pdf format. Using these, users can change the orientation of the image, crop it and if there are multiple pages involved put them in the desired order. Users can also change the colour theme of the scans and save them in grayscale, whiteboard, auto-colour or retain the original colour. Adobe Scan can be used to scan anything from an A4 sized document to a business card or receipt.
The scanned file will be saved on the Adobe Document Cloud and will show up on other Adobe apps as well.
Adobe claims the app also supports OCR (Optical Character Recognition) which means it can recognise text in a scanned file and then convert them into editable Word or Excel files. However, to take advantage of this feature, users need to download Acrobat Reader app on their device. Here one can copy text from pdf and paste it on any word document or excel sheet. One can also add comments, highlight or add signatures to the scans before sharing them with others via email, messenger or Bluetooth.
The new app is easy to use and, most importantly, doesn’t charge anything for the users. While it is fast and the scan quality is good with even the most basic camera phone, the app was unable to handle inconsistencies such as glare and orientation of scanned file. The glare made the text barely readable in one of the scans.
Apps such as Microsoft’s Office Lens can minimise glare in scans. Office Lens also allows users to adjust scan resolution and scan a file from any angle and then adjust it afterwards. It comes in handy when you are scanning a poster high up on a pillar or a page of a thick book.
What is surprising is that the Acrobat Reader already has a built-in scanner in it and the Adobe Scan offers nothing extra over it. If you already have the Reader app on your smartphone, you can give this a miss.