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The first commercial model of the Xerox machine was almost the size of two washing machines, weighing about 650 pounds, and prone to overheating. 

Nonetheless, it was a godsend for secretaries as they no longer needed to use lousy carbon paper or visit third-party external print shops to produce quality copies. Its core technology later moved to printers and scanners and has remained so since the 1930s.

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Smartphones have simplified these once-cumbersome workplace tasks, and have become productivity machines that provide a quick and simple on-the-go scanner to manage your physical papers. What was once expensive, elite tools have now emerged into the mainstream through mobile scanner apps.

There are many scanner apps to choose from for your iOS device, but we narrowed the field by isolating the traits we think are most useful. These include optical character recognition (OCR), image quality, ease of use, diverse format and sharing options, security, editing and annotation features, and reasonable price.

Swiftscan combines an easy-to-use layout, excellent image quality with solid OCR results, and sharing options. It’s also a great tool to work with PDFs, whether you want to sign it, add notes or highlight some important parts. You can even rearrange, remove or add more pages, crop scans accurately, and correct them for geometric distortion.

It doesn’t perform OCR in the cloud or send your data to its servers, so your private information is safe from prying authorities and hackers. It also provides PDF encryption so you can password-protect your files.

You can adjust automatic crop, rotate, apply filters and name your scanned file, but once you save your scans, you can’t go back and change the filter; you have to scan afresh. You can then share it via email or as a TXT file, and upload all scans automatically to cloud services including Dropbox or Google Drive, and note-taking apps like Evernote.

Other neat usability features include a dedicated multi-page scanning mode, passcode and Touch ID app locks, Wunderlist integration, and automatic text recognition in 60 languages.

Scanbot doesn’t have presets for different content types, though. For example, if you scan a business card, it doesn’t automatically add the person to your contacts. It also can’t reliably recognize handwritten text. Instead, it uses the Actions feature to analyze OCR results, and extract email addresses, URLs, and other actionable elements. 

This free scanner app is designed to take images of notes, documents, and whiteboards that are saved in Word, PDF, or PowerPoint file formats. Office Lens is ad-free and lets you save your scans to the cloud via OneDrive or OneNote.

Its user interface is simple and easy to use, though you have to install Word on your iOS device to access the scan results, and you can only share files within the Microsoft Office family of apps and services. 

Besides the usual image filters, Office Lens has discrete modes for scanning business cards and whiteboards with distinct and useful results.  However, it doesn’t magnify corners while adjusting a crop manually, so it’s harder to get precise results.

This powerful little scanner app will scan anything you place before it, and send it to your preferred storage or Evernote account. 

It also lets you share the scans with other people, but it does it intelligently. For instance, if you’re in a business meeting and you granted Scannable access to your calendar, you can scan the meeting minutes and Scannable will ask if you’d like to share the images with the attendees, as long as they’re listed in the meeting invite.  

You can scan receipts, business cards, sketches, paper documents, or multipage documents, and Scannable will automatically file and organize the scan results, crop them automatically to remove backgrounds and enhance them so the text is readable.

It also adds contacts automatically from scanned business cards to a contact card on your device, and you can call or email the person, or visit their website in one tap.

This is an iOS-only scanner app that scans text in 193 languages using OCR. It can scan printed and handwritten text, and works with 12 file formats including PDF, DOCX, and TXT while preserving the original document formatting.

Its easy-to-use annotation tools let you add notes to text and signatures, and with the BookScan feature, you can easily digitize books. FineScanner can also remove backgrounds and enhance the final image automatically to highlight graphics or bring out the text.

Your scan results can be shared via email or you can save them to cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud Drive, and Evernote. The app is free but offers in-app purchases if you want more capabilities or extra storage.

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The Best Business Card Scanner Apps For Iphone

My Old Man doesn’t own a smartphone (I know, how do I live with it?). One of the drawbacks of being a decade behind the rest of us, technologically, is that his wallet is stuffed full with business cards, and I mean stuffed. It is a wonder he can even fit that thing in his pants pocket.

What he needs, besides a smartphone, is a business card reader so he can toss those bulky cardstock piles, but still keep the information he needs in his pocket. If you are looking to empty your wallet and minimize the bulk in your pockets, we’ve got a list of what we think are the best business card reader apps for iPhone for you below.

Also read: we recently published a specific post on how to quickly scan a business card and save contact info.

CamCard

With this app, you can take a picture of a physical business card and the information will be scanned into a contact folder so you can quickly save information without having to type everything in word for word. You can also exchange your e-cards with others either using a QR code or sending it to contacts nearby. You will even be able to receive notifications whenever a contact changes information. This app is available for $2.99.

The best business card reader apps are the ones with text recognition technology and this app has what you need. Take a picture of a business card and the information will automatically be populated into your iOS address book. Data, including email, phone number, and website will all be readable. You can export your contacts as .xlsx files or save them to Evernote. You can also connect directly with SalesForce to save your contacts directly. This app is available for $6.99.

With this app’s optical character recognition (OCR) feature, you’ll be able to instantly transfer information from a business card directly into your stock contacts app. You can sort contacts by name, company, position, address, and more. Merge new business card contact with existing ones. You can sync with Google Contacts to integrate all of your data together. Use it to find people on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. This app is available for $6.99.

With this app, not only can you scan a business card using the OCR feature, but you can also have a card transcribed if it is unreadable with the scanner. So, you’ve got the best of both worlds by being able to quickly add a business card simply by snapping a picture of it, but also getting the hands-on experience if the card is unreadable. You can also assign contacts to groups, customize the sorting fields, and integrate with your calendar app. Send a VCard to others through text or email, add a note, and sync online so you can access your contacts from any computer. This app is available for $1.99.

Use this app to scan and import business cards directly to your stock Contacts app on your iPhone securely. You’ll be able to quickly identify contacts by their business card and you can add photos, image texts, and notes to save for later. You won’t need to log into any social networking site, either. So, if you want to keep your contacts private, you won’t have to identify anyone in LinkedIn or Facebook. This app is available for free (with in-app purchases).

If you are an “old dog” who has trouble learning new tricks, this app works to help ease you into the digital age. You can scan your business cards and they will stack up, just like the one in your wallet. Add the information to your Address Book, but keep that familiar stack on hand. You can sort cards by different categories and even share contacts with others using AirDrop. It’s like having a physical stack of cards, but without the clutter. This app is available for free (with in-app purchase).

I guess, at this point, app names are all getting taken up and you have to get creative with titles. With this app, you can capture business card information in 21 different languages, sync cards across iPhone and iPad, save contacts in the CardHolder for easy sorting and grouping, and share information with other app users over local Wi-Fi. You can also save multiple images of the card, including the backside, as well as storing a picture of the original contact so you will remember what they look like at a future meeting. This app is available for $39.99.

Any other suggestion? What do you think is the best business card scanner app for iPhone? Share your picks below…

Don’t forget to check out our previous best-of lists

How To Scan Documents On Your Galaxy Smartphone

With hybrid and remote work becoming a permanent part of the way many businesses operate, it’s more important than ever to learn how to work and collaborate effectively from afar. And while digitizing your business workflows is ideal, sometimes work requires that print or scan paper documents. Fortunately, you can easily scan and share printed documents with your colleagues right from Samsung smartphone, including the new Galaxy S22 series.

For example, if you’re working from home, you can scan paper receipts for an expense report in a snap. Or, if you’re finalizing a contract, just sign it and scan multiple pages into PDF format in just a few minutes. You don’t have to fumble around with a bulky scanner or multifunction printer. Everything you need is already on your phone.

To get you on your way, here’s a step-by-step guide to scanning a document on your Galaxy smartphone:

How to scan a document with your Galaxy smartphone

The latest Galaxy smartphones make it easy to scan and share documents. Here’s how to do single-page scans:

1. Open the camera app and position the document in the center of your view. The camera app will automatically detect the document.

2. Tap the scan button.

3. Then tap the thumbnail image to review your scan.

4. Tap the edit icon if you’d like to edit your scan.

5. Editing tools will appear. You can edit, crop and rotate your scan as needed.

6. Then tap Save and zoom in to make sure you got a good scan.

7. Tap the share icon to send the document via email or messenger.

How to scan multiple documents using the Microsoft Office app

Here’s how to scan multipage documents using the integrated Microsoft Office app:

1. Open the Microsoft Office app and tap Actions at the bottom right.

2. Then select Scan to PDF.

3. Scan the first page and then tap Add New.

4. Tap Confirm to accept the scan.

5. Continue scanning all the pages. When you’re done, tap the red arrow.

6. You can open a recent scan by tapping its thumbnail image.

7. Tap the Edit button to begin editing your scan, then tap Done when you’re finished.

8. You can now share the document via email or messenger.

Get more done with your Galaxy smartphone

Your Galaxy smartphone features plenty of other remote productivity tools that let you get work done wherever you happen to be.

When you turn your Galaxy smartphone into a hot spot, you get a private Wi-Fi access point for connecting all your devices. This makes it easy to share your scans with other people when you don’t have a Wi-Fi connection nearby. On top of that, you can use the Microsoft Your Phone companion app to quickly drag and drop all your recently scanned documents right onto your PC desktop.

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Making the transition to hybrid work can be an adjustment, but it’s easier when you have technology that helps you work well in a variety of settings, instead of getting in the way of your productivity. Learning how to make scans on your Galaxy smartphone helps you do just that by giving you instant access to your paper documents right on your mobile device.

Find out how to roll out a mobile-only solution for your workers with Samsung DeX in our comprehensive guide. And discover other ways to create a more connected remote workplace.

Apps Of The Week: Lively, Pic Scanner, Chored, And More

This week, Apple rolled out updates across the board for Mac, iOS, Apple Watch and iTunes. Unfortunately for jailbreakers, iOS 9.1 is off limits for now. With the new updates, you’ll want to see how well content performs on your various devices. If you are looking for new apps and games to push your device to its limits, check out our weekend app list below.

Trivial Pursuit & Friends

Trivial Pursuit is one of those games that go hand-in-hand with family get-togethers. Everyone thinks they are the smartest in the family and this game proves who really is. Now that it is available on iOS, you can prove how smart you are to everyone around the world without having to get into that dusty old junk closet. This digital version includes three different modes: Duel, which is a high-speed round, Blitz, which has four players competing simultaneously, and Events, which is a worldwide weekly quiz. This game is available for free.

Now that Live Photos are the new hotness, it’s no wonder more developers are making apps that let you use your mini movies as GIFs. Lively does just that. With it, you can control the speed of your GIF from half speed up to twice as fast. So, you can make a slo-mo GIF or a wacky high-speed one. With 3D touch support, you can pop out images for a quick peek as well as a shortcut from the Home screen. Thanks to iOS Extensions, you can import Live Photos directly into Lively right from the Photos app. This app is available for free.

Oh, the big red button. How we can’t resist its allure. What if a coworker asked you to sit at his work station and specified not to touch anything, even though there is a big red button right in front of you. Would you press it? That’s what this game is all about. Press the red button to unlock a switch. Press the switch to reveal a panel of numbered buttons. Press the numbered buttons to open a drawer, and so on. Everything you touch will eventually end in death or destruction. It’s how you get there that is fun. This game is available for $4.99.

I love turning old pictures of my grand parents (and even great grandparents) into digital photos. Sometimes, you can even lighten up really dark pictures to reveal something you never saw before. With Pic Scanner, you can scan up to four images at the same time. The app features technology that automatically crops and saves scans as individual files. You can add captions, filters, and more. You can even scan pictures directly from a photo album without having to take them out of the protective sheet. With the 3.0 update, you can view scanned pics as slideshows, crop batches of photos, and more. This app is available for free.

Chored

It’s Thursday, the last week of the month. One roommate still owes you his portion of the cable bill and another roommate still hasn’t cleaned the bathroom, which is his chore for the week. If any of this sounds familiar, you’ll want to check out Chored. This app makes it easy for you to split the bills up, schedule chores, and even chat with your roommates without having to sit down at a table. You can even pay what you owe to the roommate in charge right from within the app. So, when Ed tries to claim that you haven’t paid your share yet, you can simply show him proof that the money has already been deposited in his account. This app is available for free.

If you’ve got an itch to play a good old-fashioned monster catching game, but gave away your collection of Pokémon cartridges, why not scratch that itch with this fun little game. You can capture and train 900 adorable little pocket monsters. Grow your team into a powerful force and take them on the road to meet up with other trainers to become the Grand Champion of the Monster League. It may not be the real thing, but for only a dollar, you might satisfy your desire to catch ’em all. This game is available for $0.99.

More apps you should check out These apps have been updated

How To Change Default Apps In Ios 14

Apple’s iOS platform has never really been “open.” Unlike Android, Apple has long controlled what apps can be used as the default apps. That changes with iOS 14, as Apple has taken a step in the right direction. Allowing its users to change default email and browser apps is something iOS users have been asking for for a long, long time.

How to Change the Default Browser

It’s important to note that while Apple has enabled the ability to change the default browser, the new browser app has to support this feature. As of now, popular browsers like Chrome, Edge, Brave, Opera, etc., have made it possible. More apps are coming as developers continue to update and support the iOS 14 changes but know that not every browser works with this feature.

Follow the steps here to change the default browser in iOS.

How to Change Default Email App

Changing the default email app can be done using the same set of steps as swapping your default browser. The same caveat applies here as well, as not all email apps have been updated to add support as a default app.

1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad. Continue scrolling until you find the email app you wish to set as your default.

3. Listed alongside the default mail app should be all other email apps that have been updated to support this feature. Select the email app of your choice and ensure the blue checkmark appears next to it.

Reset Default Apps

If you ever want to go back to the default apps or set up another app as default, follow the same steps above for both your browser and email apps. Once you go into the “Default Browser App” or Default Email App” screen, go ahead and choose a different app or choose the default Mail or Safari options.

Now that you know how to change the default apps in iOS, we hope that the feature can extend to other apps like Music or Maps. For now, this is a great first step. Meanwhile, you can learn how to make good use of the App Library in iOS 14.

David Joz

David is a freelance tech writer with over 15 years of experience in the tech industry. He loves all things Nintendo.

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The Best Apps For Learning How To Code

These days, kids in elementary school are already learning how to code. It can be really intimidating for someone who doesn’t even know what HTML is. Even though computer knowledge is much better for the average person than it was 20 years ago, there are still a lot of secrets hidden behind those cool programs we use.

If you are too old to have learned code in school, too young to have started yet, or just want to practice the basics you learned so long ago you’ve forgotten, we’ve got a list of some of the best apps to learn how to code…

Codecademy

This app is great for grown up beginners looking to learn the basic structure of code. It includes simple, fun exercises to help train your brain so that, when you can sit down behind the computer, you can take what you’ve learned throughout the day with you. This app is available for free.

Hakitzu Elite: Robot Hackers

Last May, I took a look at the early version of this code learning game. Although I found it to be extremely exciting to learn code using giant robots, I also found it to be excruciatingly irritating to try to play a game that was infested with bugs. Thankfully, the game received a complete overhaul (and name) and is much less buggy. Learn to code by giving movement inputs to your robot. Don’t worry, you will be told what to do and learn what you did wrong. This game is available for free.

My Robot Friend

If you thought it was cool to learn how to code using giant robots, think how much your little one will enjoy it. This app was developed by the team at LeapFrog. It teaches kids the basics of programming by helping them understand the concepts of giving text-based commands to the robot. It also includes games, puzzles, and the ability to customize your robot. You don’t have to be seven years old to play. Just don’t let your friends see you. This game is available for $3.99.

Learn Programming: Coding Tutorial

If you have a particular reason to learn how to create eye-catching websites, this app will help you turn your ideas into code reality. It features video and audio lectures, presentations, and lessons to teach you how to build landing pages that will entice viewers. Learn Python, Django, HTML, and CSS. This app is available for free.

Everybody wants to run a blog. However, not everybody knows how to make one that looks good and runs great. This app offers step-by-step instructions on how to build web pages using HTML. The built-in text editor allows you to test your code right away and see the results of the page you just built. This app is available for $4.99.

The best way to get your kids excited about computers is to start them with the learning process early. No, wait. That’s the best way to ensure they will hate it. Just like piano lessons. What you should do is trick them into learning programming by giving them a fun game with light up robots. This app will teach your tiny tot about control-flow concepts like procedures, loops, and conditionals. They will never know you hid cauliflower in their mashed potatoes. This game is available for $2.99.

If you are looking for a way to be the smartest kid on the block, this app has more than 4,000 videos to help you gain a broad variety of knowledge. One of the topics of this learning app is, of course, computer programming. You’ll be able to watch videos, track your progress, and download playlists to watch offline. This app is available for free.

Similar to Khan Academy, this app is full of a wide variety of videos, lectures, and lessons to make you just a little bit smarter. It wouldn’t be on our list if computer programming weren’t an available course. With this app, you can watch videos online or offline, track your courses from the app or the web browser, rearrange course into a customized playlist, and more. This app is available for free.

You won’t be able to say that you don’t know how to do something because they didn’t teach it at your school with this app. Learn how to program, take photographs, and decorate cakes, all in the same place. Udemy is like combining all of your high school’s electives into one convenient location. This app is available for free.

In this children’s story, little Cato discovers that he can’t move anywhere until he figures out the program that will allow him to do so. Kids will learn simple programming interface using cards to set commands. The map editor lets you create your own puzzles to share with others. The game teaches little ones the essentials of programming and problem solving that can be used later in life. This game is available for $4.99.

Looking for more apps to learn coding? Check these out, too.

Don’t forget to check out some of our previous Best Apps lists.

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