These days it’s becoming ever more important to get things done as quickly as possible, including when you are out and about. This is especially true if you’re running a business or preparing for a meeting. You need to be able to scan things and get them sent off immediately, and that means you need a reliable app on your mobile to do this.

That’s why, today, we are looking at Camscanner, an app available for Android, iPhone and (amazingly) for the Windows Phone 8 operating system. According to its Google Play page, Canscanner is “the world’s number 1 document scanning and sharing app”… So, let’s see how it stacks up, shall we?

Installation

Well, as this is an app, it’s pretty simple to install and get setup. As I mentioned in the introduction, it’s available on all three of the major mobile device operating systems, which is pretty amazing these days. I mean, who the hell still develops for Windows Phone 8?

On top of that, as well as being able to download from your relevant app store, you can download the install file directly from the website itself. So, if you’re on Android and don’t want to get it from Google Play (although I don’t see any point in it), you can download the APK file straight from the developers… So, yeah, once again they are being kind to all sorts of people, although i don’t get why someone would want to download the APK file over just going to the bloody app store and clicking install. But hey! At least the option’s there, right?

Symantec UK
Setup is pretty straight forward. You need to create an account though, so be prepared for the incredibly arduous task of typing in an email address. And yes, I am being sarcastic. In truth, installation and setup took me all of a minute at most! So, nice one devs!

Effectiveness

Now, when it comes to a scanner app, this is probably the most important aspect really. So, let’s jump straight in. The interface is so simple, even someone who has never seen a smart phone before would be able to use it! Well, maybe not quite, but you get my point.

When you start up the app, there’s this big camera button that you need to press to start the scanning process. From here, you have to take a picture of the document you want to scan, without worrying about the angle. Just look at this screenshot of me scanning a wonderful little message for this very post!

As you can see, I took the photo of the document at a bloody awkward angle! However, this is still the angle most of us would probably end up using when trying to take a photo of a document, so I think it’s a pretty fair test.

Once you’ve done that, you need to use those spots to drag the focus area around the document. In this case, I moved the top corner spots to the top corners of the notepad’s page. I also moved the bottom spots to the bottom of the message as well. Once this is done, just press on the tick and the app will scan and render the image based upon your focus area, leaving you with something like this…

As you can see, it has rendered the scan as a completely straight on view of the document. And it’s done a pretty good job of it really! On top of that, you can rotate the scan, put various effects on it and tinker with the colour levels before pressing on that big tick again to finalise it.

The scan is then added to it’s own folder, which can have more scans added in. Then, when you save the folder as a PDF, every scan in the folder is included in the PDF. In fact, here’s a link to the PDF version of that document!

So yeah, in terms of effectiveness, I would say the app does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s also bloody easy to use, which is always a plus, wouldn’t you say?

Usability

Whilst this has pretty much been covered in the last section of this review, it’s worth mentioning that once the scan is complete and the PDF export is ready, you can access the standard Share menu immediately.

This means that you can instantly upload your fully scanned document to Google Drive, or send via email or Facebook Messenger. Basically, the app lets you send your scan as soon as it is finished, without having to swap to another one and find the PDF file.

eClincher Inc.
I know that’s nothing amazing, but when you are trying to be quick (which is the whole point of this app, really) it’s worth noting that you can be! Also, the sheer fact that it is available on every major type of smart phone is a plus, so I think that’s another win for Camscanner!

Cost

Ok, so the actually app itself is free, so that’s great! However, the final scan will come with a lovely little Camscanner watermark on it. So, if you want to make sure that you don’t get any watermarks that mess up your document, or don’t want to put up with adverts in the app, then you should get the “premium” version.

Normally, I would say to avoid these as the value for money isn’t worth it, and for most part, I would still agree with that statement. Even though it’s only £1.79, I would still only recommend it if you need to get rid of the watermark. The adverts themselves aren’t intrusive and don’t get in the way of using the app, so it really is just a matter of the watermark. And I don’t think that really warrants £1.79…

Especially since the developers will be getting ad revenue anyway. If there weren’t any adverts, I would definitely recommend the “premium” version because it would be giving back to the developers for making the app. But at the moment, with the adverts in the app, I just don’t see the point.

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Camscanner
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