The digital world has a lot of benefits, and the ability to scan printed documents for text and images (to keep a copy on your Android phone) is one of the many things that we’re capable of doing now. This technology is known as OCR or optical character recognition, and it only works with printed documents or books.
If you want to scan handwritten text, you might want to check out scanning apps. OCR apps also require a decently lit room as it uses the camera to scan the document for words and images. While handwritten notes don’t work, most OCR apps can cleverly detect cursive writing more often than not.
So which are some of the best OCR apps available out there? Well, there are plenty. Keeping this in mind, we’re going to talk about five of the best apps available out there to make your job significantly easier.
So let’s have a look.
5 Best Android OCR Apps to Identify Images and Texts
This is a comprehensive mobile scanning application that lets you scour through long documents and printed text to store on your smartphone. It comes with features like smart cropping, which can cleverly detect the edges of a document and crop accordingly. The app can also detect text that you find on images, so it’s not just limited to printed documents. Further, if you want to print something you’ve just scanned, the app’s AirPrint support helps you print it over a nearby wireless printer, without having to move an inch from your location.
The app also allows you to make changes on the document, with the ability to even watermark the documents to avoid plagiarism. You can also set a passcode for some of your important documents, keeping them safe from prying eyes.
Lastly, the app comes with a web app as well (camscanner.com), allowing you to access all your Android documents on a browser. Content is synced almost immediately, allowing you to switch back and forth between platforms. The app also comes with a premium service which adds a few other features to the mix. Subscription prices are listed at $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year.
Google Keep is one of the popular note taking apps out there. It comes with a checklist feature, too, making it the most loved note taking apps on Android. But did you know it also comes with an OCR feature by default, allowing you to scan documents and images for sentences. The process to grab the text here is pretty simple. You are required to open a new note, tap the camera button, take a picture of the document, and tap Grab image text from the app overflow menu.
Once you have the text from the image, you can then add labels and tags to separate them from the rest of the documents you have on Keep. Since Google Keep has a web version, all your scanned documents appear on all versions of the app provided you are signed in with the same email address. The best part of all is that Google Keep is entirely free to download and has no ads or in-app purchases. If you own an Android smartphone or tablet with Google Play Services enabled, it’s likely that you already have Google Keep on your device.
Microsoft has made tremendous inroads in the productivity segment, and the Office Lens app is a fine example of that. Unsurprisingly, Office Lens was named one of the best apps of 2015 in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Simply put, Office Lens allows you take an image and store scanned versions of them on your device. Unlike traditional OCR scanners, Office Lens can also scan handwritten notes, making it incredibly useful in a classroom.
The app also lets you scan business cards and save their information directly on your contacts. Thanks to OneNote and OneDrive support, all your saved notes and documents are accessible from every major platform out there, including PC and Mac. The scanned images can be converted into PDF, PowerPoint or Word files depending on your preference. In addition to cloud storage, the device can also be stored natively on your phone for easy access. As far as OCR apps go, Office Lens is definitely one of the best out there. The app is free to download on the Google Play Store and has no ads or in-app purchases.
This is an independently developed app that comes with OCR features on board. It can help you scan through long sheets or documents for printed text and save it on your device for later perusal. Further, the text you extract from the app can be edited and modified as per your liking, helping you make some quick changes. You can also fix the viewpoint of images using this app, which is a handy feature to have.
Overall, Text Fairy is a pretty basic OCR app and gets the job done when you need it. Since this is an OCR scanner, it cannot read handwriting, so you’re good as long as you stick to printed text. Lastly, the app is free to download and devoid of ads and in-app purchases.
This app is slightly different from Text Fairy in that it supports handwritten text as well. It comes with high-speed scanning and reading to give you the best results within just a few seconds. One use case for an app like this is to scan lengthy URLs that are shown in printed documents and files, which can take a bit of time to manually enter. The app also allows you to scan photos from your album, so there’s no dearth of features here. The app can be downloaded for free from the Play Store, although you will have to make do with ads. There are in-app purchases as well. Text Scanner is compatible with smartphones and tablets running Android 4.0 and up. Be sure to check it out.