Wed, 9 May, 2018Danielle McCarthy

How to turn your smartphone into a portable scanner

How to turn your smartphone into a portable scanner

Lisa Du is director of ReadyTechGo, a service that helps people gain the confidence and skills to embrace modern technology. 

Every time I show a client how to turn their device into a portable scanner, I get the same response: "Wow!” It's so much easier than using a physical scanner and saves you time.

This app works for Android and Apple devices. For Apple users, I prefer the Scannable App, which is not available on Android. Now I’ve finally found an app that is as good for an Android device.

Adobe Scan App

Available on both Android and Apple devices, Adobe Scan is a free app which turns your device into a powerful portable scanner that recognises text automatically (OCR).

Turn anything — receipts, notes, pictures, documents, business cards, whiteboards — into an Adobe PDF with content you can reuse.

To get started on this app, you do need to create an Adobe ID.

Some tips for using this app:

  • Hold your device nice and steady on top of your document, receipt or card.
  • The app will automatically detect the document and crop out anything surrounding it (eg. Tables or backgrounds around the document), leaving you with a nice "scan".
  • There is auto enhance feature which strips out any darkness.

The "scan" that I took (image on the left) was in low light, and by clicking the "Auto Colour" function, it brightened up my "scan".

Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think of turning your Android device into a portable scanner!