Scanning documents

19 01 2013

With the integrated camera both iPhone and iPad may be used for scanning documents like letters, construction drawings, receipts, contracts, etc..

What are the requirements for a perfect scanner app?

  • Integrated camera usage
  • Saving photos as images or PDFs
  • Combining several photos as pages to a unique document
  • Connection to different well-known cloud storages as well as WebDAV-Connections
  • Setting of meaningful filenames for images respectively PDFs
  • Organizing scanned objects in folders
  • Mailing of scanned objects
  • Availability of iOS-‘Open in…’ command
  • Access to the camera roll and the photo stream
  • Password protection for the app
  • Encryption of documents when uploaded to cloud storages and sent by E-Mail
  • Syncing of scanned objects across iOS-Devices using the same Apple ID
  • Printing of scanned documents

What are the general requirements for business suitable apps?

  • UI design following Apple’s iOS Human Interface Guidelines
  • Reliable developer updating his apps regularly
  • Universal app (running on all iOS-Devices)
  • Further apps from the same developer for related tasks
  • Understandable and fast support
  • Code stability

There is an app available at Apple’s App Store which meets all these requirements. It’s Scanner Pro from Readdle with an impressive user interface.

There are some open questions about the encryption of documents when sent by E-Mail or transferred to a cloud storage. I want to discuss these aspects later after getting detailed information directly from the developer.

Consider the following situation which might be a daily upcoming task:

A printed document has to be stored for later use and concurrently sent to a business associate by E-Mail.

For the slideshow I used an iPad for a richer illustration. Because of its form factor an iPhone is probably more suitable for promptly daily usage. As Scanner Pro is a universal app there are no differences in their usage.

How to do the job with Scanner Pro? See this slideshow.
To view single slides tap on the slideshow and use the well-known icons.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As the app is suitable for business use security features are indispensable.
Documents are encrypted using 40 Bit RC4 encryption. That is not state of the art.

Wikipedia RC4 Encryption

The disadvantages …

  • No display of file sizes
  • Access to photo stream not supported
  • No direct printing
    only Printer Pro from Readdle supported via ‘Open in’
  • No landscape mode on iPhone

The competitors …

  • FinarX
    not available for iPad
    no iCloud support
  • JotNot Scanner
    PDF not supported
  • CamScanner
    confusing UI
    cloud storage not supported
  • Genius Scan (Free)
    no encryption
    no WebDAV support
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