Scanners are useful gadgets for turning paper-based documents into computer files such as images and PDFs. The problem is that sometimes you could do with a scanner, but you don’t have one. For example, you may be out and need to scan a document or a receipt and the only scanner you have is back at the office or at home. What can you do? TurboScan for iOS devices is one possible solution.
iPhones and iPads have a pretty good camera and you could take a photograph of a document or receipt, but a snapshot isn’t like a scan from a proper scanner. You end up with a large JPG image, documents that are at an angle, poor resolution of the text and so on.
TurboScan uses the iOS device’s camera to take a photograph, but it processes it afterwards and converts it into a more useful format. It can detect the edges of a document and pick it out from the background. It can also detect if it isn’t straight or the perspective is wrong. These flaws are easily corrected. It does a pretty good job of turning dodgy camera work into a reasonable scan.
Tap the Camera link and you can take a scan of a document by pointing the camera at it. There are options to adjust the brightness and contrast to enhance the image and there are black and white, and colour modes. Unlike some scanning apps, TurboScan can create multi-page documents. After scanning one page you hit a button and scan the next one, and so on. Each scan is added to the file.
Documents are listed on the home screen and they can be given descriptive names and viewed on the device. Scans can be saved to the camera roll or emailed as JPEGs or PDFs. There is also an option to Open PDF in… and tapping this displays Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive and other useful places. Of course, it depends on what other apps you have installed, but you are bound to have at least one online storage facility.
TurboScan is an inexpensive, yet good quality app for scanning documents with an iPhone or iPad (not the iPad 2, the camera resolution is too low). It’s great for storing receipts when you are away from home or the office, and clearing the paper clutter from your filing system.
US store: $2.99 / UK store: £1.99
- Written by Roland Waddilove
- Published: 21 March 2014