How to: Scan Documents Using the Notes App in iOS 11

 

 

By Michael Potuck of 9to5 Mac

Apple has been improving its Notes app each year, and this time around one of the main updates is the ability to scan documents within the app in iOS 11. Follow along after the break for a look at how this useful feature works.

Apple has done a nice job implementing document scanning seamlessly into Notes, and from my testing so far, it works well and is quick and easy to use. I love having my scans synchronized across all of my Apple devices and it’s super fast to share scans with or without marking them up.

How to scan documents in the Notes app

1 Open a new or existing note
2 Tap the + icon and tap Scan Documents
3 Place your document in the camera’s view
4 Use the shutter button or one of the volume buttons to capture the scan
5 If needed, adjust the corners of the scan by dragging, then tap Keep Scan
6 Tap Save when finished scanning or continue on to add more pages

This feature works really nicely for any size document, but is especially handy for large documents that can be goofy to scan with a traditional scanner. It seems to be easiest to adjust the frame of the scan by tapping a bit away from the magnifying glass in each corner and then dragging.

You also get the option to use the camera flash and filters when scanning.

You can also edit your documents after you’ve scanned them. Tap on your scanned docs to bring up the editing toolbar to add more pages, change the filter, rotate, and crop.

Tapping the share button from within the scanned docs will allow you to markup, markup as PDF, print, copy, and share. Check out our how to guide for more help getting the most out of your Apple devices.

What’s your current favorite Scanning App? Tell us about it in the comments below!

App of the Week – Adobe launches free document scanning app for Android and iOS

 

By Blair Hanley Frank of VentureBeat.com

Adobe is getting into the mobile scanning game with a new free iOS and Android app aimed at providing users with high-quality images of physical content they want to capture digitally.

It’s called Adobe Scan, and it works similarly to a bunch of other apps already available. Users point their smartphone cameras at whatever document, white board, or presentation screen they want to capture, and the app automatically crops the image to just pick out a document.

The clearest difference between Scan and other apps, like Microsoft Lens, is that the app integrates with Adobe Document Cloud and automatically performs optical character recognition on the PDFs it generates. Users can then copy and paste text from those documents into other files.

But Adobe also put in a lot of work on building machine intelligence into Scan from the ground up, according to Akhil Chugh, a senior product manager for Document Cloud. The app uses a variety of machine learning and image processing algorithms to help deal with the myriad issues that arise with mobile scanning, like trying to differentiate a document from a similarly colored background and figuring out which areas of a document warrant optical character recognition.

“Our goal has been to create a digital document that’s as good as you would get from a flatbed scanner, or as good as the real document,” Chugh said.

Specifically, Adobe is using genetic algorithms (so named because they’re generated by simulating natural selection) to handle document boundary detection. For differentiating text from images, Adobe is using tree- and logistic regression-based classifiers. Those machine learning tools are a part of Sensei, Adobe’s name for its internal ML framework and features.

Adobe is counting on its document expertise and machine learning capabilities to boost Scan in a crowded market. The app is free for people to use, but it requires the creation of a Document Cloud account. Scanned files are stored in Document Cloud automatically but can also be saved to other services.

While it’s possible for Scan to capture images without a network connection, all of the OCR work is handled in Adobe’s cloud. That means text recognition requires sending images of the document over the internet, which may not be an appealing option for some sensitive content.

The launch of Scan is a significant milestone, but Adobe plans to further refine the app over time as part of its Document Cloud portfolio. The company has invested a great deal in handwriting and font recognition, for example, so it’s possible features like that could show up in Scan going forward.

On the machine learning front, the team is investigating how to best implement deep learning in Scan and across Document Cloud. It’s also looking into using generative adversarial networks, which are designed to help create content.

Download Adobe Scan for Android

Download Adobe Scan for iOS

Do you have a favorite scanner app for your phone? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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