These days, we really do carry a powerful and very handy mini-computer with us at all time, in the form of a phone, but besides just being very powerful computers, these devices also have very precise sensors. One of these sensors, with everlasting popularity and usefulness, is the camera. Phone cameras have become very powerful and detailed over time, and more and more people are starting to use them almost exclusively, putting aside their dedicated digital cameras. Well today, we’ll show you how you can use the camera on your phone to scan any documents or notes you may want to carry around, with amazing detail and quality, almost replacing a dedicated scanner. Let’s take a look:
We’ll be using a really cool app called “SimplyScan”, which you can download to your device by clicking here. The app is free, with an optional Pro version that we’ll mention later on. Still, for basic usage, the free version will do you just fine. As we said, the purpose of this app is to scan and convert your handwritten or physical documents into a digital format, like PDF, with enough clarity and detail to make it usable. The fact is, there already are a bunch of apps that do the same thing, but this one has a very modern, Material-inspired interface, and the way it works is incredibly simple. The results also tend to be just as good as any other app of its kind, so it’s worth taking a stab at it.
Anyway, download and install the app using the link above. Once you do, you’ll be greeted with the main screen, which at this point is empty since we haven’t done anything with the app as of yet. As you can see, there is a “+” button at the bottom that we can use to start scanning, so let’s go ahead and press it:
Once you do, you’ll be greeted with this:
This is where you’ll be able to select the source of the document. As we mentioned, the app uses the camera of your device, so you can either take a photo of the document you want to scan right now, or select a picture on your Gallery that you took beforehand. For now, let’s choose to take a photo:
Selecting that option will cause your Camera app to come up and allow you to take a picture right away. Mess with the settings and focus until you have a decent picture, and then go ahead and capture it. Once you do, the app will take the picture and start processing it. The first step is to define the perspective:
Basically, this is a way for you to define the angle and area that interests you. While you should already have taken the picture at a decent angle, preferably from above, using this tool you can adjust for any distortion or poor alignment you had when you took the picture. You can also define what area of the picture interests you, and what you want to keep out. Basically, just drag each of the corners of the rectangle until they align with the text you want:
Then, press the check icon above, and the app will take you to the last step, where it allows you to adjust the filter and visual effects that the app will apply in order to make the text more detailed and remove any unimportant patterns or features of the capture:
Adjust the sliders until you get a detailed image. You can pinch to zoom in order to check the detail all around the picture. Once you’re happy with the quality, press the check icon above yet again:
That will make the app ask you if that’s all you want to scan, or if you’d like to add more pages. This is where the Pro version comes in: adding extra pages is only possible in that version, and the free version forces you to keep things to a single page or in separate documents:
Anyway, if you choose to save the document right away, you will have to name it:
After you do, it will show up in your main screen, along with the rest of your captures. As you can see, from here, you can export the document as either a PDF or image file by tapping the Share button in the document preview:
You can also see the final result and inspect your capture more thoroughly by simply tapping over the preview:
And that’s about this for this app. This one is a very handy one to have and I would recommend that you install it and keep it around just in case: you never know when you may need it, and the results it offers really do go above and beyond the quality that you could get if you simply took a picture of the document you want. If you enjoy this app, I would also recommend you getting the Pro version so you can take advantage of all the features the app offers you, as well as support the developer. In any case, this is a great app and if you rely on taking physical notes and jotting things down regularly, this app could really make your note organization much easier, and also allow you to carry them with you everywhere. Any questions or comments? Let us know in the section below!