Review: Scanner Pro

Turn your iPhone into a scanner and make PDFs. (November 10th, 2009)

Scanner Pro features the ability to compose multi page documents from your iPhone image scans and save them as industry standard PDF files with optional 40-bit encryption.

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Product Manufacturer: Readdle

Price: $6.99 US

The Good

  • Default settings result in very clear documents.
    Email and upload work very well.

The Bad

  • No Dropbox integration.

Scanner Pro by Readdle purports to turn your iPhone into a portable scanner, as do other apps in the Apple App Store. I was skeptical because the iPhone has only a small, low-resolution camera that didn't even have auto focus until the 3GS model came out this year. So how would using the iPhone as a scanner be any different than using the camera to snap a photo of a document I want to save? Read on!

Scanner Pro features the ability to compose multi page documents from your scans and save them as industry standard PDF files with optional 40-bit encryption. You can email the finished PDF or upload it to your MobileMe iDisk, WebDAV enabled web storage, Evernote account, or straight to your Mac or PC via Wi-Fi.

When you open Scanner Pro, the first screen has a clear and informative layout that shows all your options.

Scanner Pro screen



You capture a document, then simply press the Process button at the top right of the window and let Scanner Pro apply its default algorithms to the image. In my tests, it worked very well. I did change the image to grayscale, because the extra color information is not needed for a black and white document. You can set Scanner Pro to always make your scan grayscale in the Settings panel.

If you need to make more adjustments to the image just choose Contrast or Brightness and a slider pops up. Move the slider tab to where you want it, wait a second for it to process, and it displays the changes.

 Scanner Pro Adjust



Once you've scanned a few documents, you'll develop a feel for how far to move the tab to adjust your documents. When finished click Done and that's it, you're ready to add more pages or send or upload the PDF.

If your final PDF document needs multiple pages, you'll be glad to know that Scanner Pro lets you rearrange the order of the pages. If you're concerned about security you can add password protection before you send the PDF.

Scanner Pro Arrange



The Settings control panel lets you set your WebDAV account information, Evernote account information, default page size, enable WebDAV access, and set image processing defaults. If you foresee scanning mostly black and white documents you should set the Grayscale by Default switch to ON. A very handy Help page covers most of what Scanner Pro can do and should get you up and running quickly.

Scanner Pro Settings


Settings and Help


In addition to email, you can upload your scans to your computer or any WebDAV enabled device. If you have Wi-Fi enabled on your iPhone when you use Scanner Pro you'll see your IP Address at the bottom of the documents window. Using just my iMac this gave me three different ways to get the documents from the iPhone to my computer. As seen below I was able to connect via a Finder window by typing my IP Address into Connect to Server... from the Finder's Go menu.

Scanner Pro Connections


Connect to Your Mac


You can also type your IP Address into a browser address bar and connect that way, or you can use any FTP application to connect. All of these connections, as well as the email interface, worked flawlessly.

At $6.99, Scanner Pro is priced right in the middle of the other scanner apps in the App Store. It's for anyone who needs to scan documents when they're away from home or the office, view them on the go, and share them with others or save them for future reference or accounting. Scanner Pro works with any iPhone running 2.2.1 or later firmware.

I like Scanner Pro and I already use it way more than I thought I would. I'd like to see the folks at Readdle add Dropbox integration to the app in the future but even without that this is a nice app and possibly the best of the scanner apps in the App Store. If you need to save and send PDF scans of forms, documents, receipts, and occasionally password protect them, I recommend Scanner Pro.

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