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No matter how many different scanners we've tested over the years, we've still yet to find a truly elegant solution. Whether we're making digital reproductions with our all-in-one desktop printers or copying paper with the massive units in our offices, we're constantly stymied by jams, blurry images, and slow, clunky interfaces. Even the simple, camera-based apps on our iPhones have their shortcomings, and we often find ourselves retaking and cropping images until we get them right.
With a gorgeous interface and a good developer pedigree, we had high hopes for Scanbot. There's a clean, simple aesthetic that runs through every screen, helping you capture and organize your documents with ease. The priority here is speed, as Scanbot's foolproof interface can attest to, but it doesn't come at the expense of professional features, including high-resolution output, a low-light indicator, and automatic edge detection. Our final products weren't always perfect, but the powerful cropping tool and one-touch enhancer fine-tuned things nicely.
Scanbot is the first app from the creators of the now-defunct doo storage service, so we were hardly surprised to see a tight integration with the cloud—but we weren't expecting such comprehensive synergy. Nearly every major service is represented, and you can set your image to automatically upload to your favorite. It’s a much better method than the standard save-and-email strategy most of the other scanner apps use, though you can still clutter up your Camera Roll if you so desire.
The app’s interface does a nice job of prompting you with tips on how to take better scans, but we would have liked a little more control over our documents, most notably a perspective or skew tool to straighten crooked scans and flatten folds. Also, we wish we were able to organize our scan into folders instead of rushing off to the cloud every time, and we had some issues with moving and resizing the digital signature.
The bottom line. Scanbot certainly isn't the first scanning app for the iPhone, but it might be the first one we actually use regularly.
iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 7.0 or later
Clean interface that makes scanning a breeze. Excellent integration with cloud services. Powerful automation tools and editing features.
No in-app organization. Missing pro tools to straighten scans. Digital signature buggy and confusing to work with.