Genius Scan – easily turn your phone into a picture scanner & PDF creator!
Aug 7, 2012 4:35 PM –
Genius Scan is a neat little scanner app available on Android, iOS and Windows Phone. Designed to be as simple as pointing your phone at a page you would like to scan, the app goes a bit further by ‘looking’ at your picture and automatically determining the corners (you can adjust if needed), and correct the perspective of your scans. Create scans as either PDF documents or JPG pictures and share via email, social apps and more. Let’s get more into the app review!
Tested on: Samsung Galaxy S3
Pros & Cons:
- Scan documents and pictures with your phone!
- Easily correct the perspective of scans!
- Create multiple page PDF documents on your phone!
- Produces large PDF files.
- Creating multiple page files in-app are not the most intuitive, so read below.
Genius Scan is cool because it allows you to easily scan, crop and create PDF documents and JPG photos on your smartphone. It is similar to apps like Handy Scanner we’ve reviewed. Simply aim your phone’s camera at something you would like to scan; say a magazine, important documents & contracts, or handwritten notes, etc., and the app will do its best to automatically detect the corners for cropping and correcting the perspective. I’m quite impressed with how accurate it gets at detecting the corners, though you can tweak if you like by pulling either the outlined areas inside or at the corners themselves. A convenient helper would be a zoom feature to assist the perfectionist. 😉
While scanning, if you need the phone’s light (if your phone has one), the icon can be toggled in the top light corner of the scanner screen (but I would recommend getting in better overall lighting than the phone’s light as it’s too direct). Additionally, you can choose from pictures already in your phone’s gallery. Once scanned you have the options to rotate the image or choose from a few enhancement options: Color, Black & White or none at all. Color enhances the saturation and Black & White de-saturates the image, great for textual scans. Sometimes the app will automatically choose the color profile and incorrectly apply it, to change this, tap the ‘Menu’ button and choose your correct color profile before proceeding, else you’ll be stuck with it. 😡
The app has a feature to combine numerous scans into one document, although I find this to be the weaker feature set, yet it still works for combining multiple scans into one PDF document. Creating PDF documents are not the most intuitive, however, once you learn the steps below it’ll be easier:
Tip: To create a multiple page PDF document with Genius Scan:
- Scan all your documents
- From the “Scan” tab, select the first scan then click the + icon in lower left to invoke the “Move to…” options (longpress does this in one less step)
- If a scan exists already in your “Documents” tab, the choices will display there, otherwise choose a new document. This will place the scan into a container to export as a PDF.
- Rinse and repeat the step above for each scan.
- You can rearrange the order of documents and change the title by tapping a specific item in the “Documents” tab.
- Share to export (email it to yourself as it does not save to your SD card).
Genius Scan Detecting Edges
Genius Scan Final Result
Genius Scan Magazine Scan
Genius Scan Final Result 2
Genius Scan Final Result with Black and White Effect
Genius Scan Enhancement Types either in Color or Black and White
Genius Scan Black & White Effect on Text
Genius Scan List
Genius Scan Documents
Genius Scan Move to New Document
Genius Scan Sorting Options
Genius Scan Sharing Option
Genius Scan has many great uses; from scanning agreements to great magazine photography. Here’s some more nifty uses directly from the app description:
- To quickly scan a form you just printed when you don’t have a scanner
- At the university, to take a picture of a whiteboard
- On the road, to archive receipts and send them to Expensify
- To make a copy when you have no copier available
- To archive handwritten notes or share them with colleagues
- Save the perfect recipe after cooking
- Save handwritten memos, or book pages for future reference
- Share a good restaurant menu on Twitter
Ease of Use:
Scanning, correcting the perspectives, and sharing with Genius Scan are a breeze, definitely the app’s strong points. However, I feel the creation of multiple page PDF process could be a bit cleaner. This is not advertised as a feature of the app but I would hope the developer can add some OCR, Optical character recognition, technology to the app!
This is definitely a user preference question. It really depends on how frequent your scanning needs are. It could be used on an as needed basis or, if you have a small office or are a traveling business professional, can be used quite often to scan important documents on the go!
The user interface is pretty slick and minimal and follow Google’s ‘Holo’ interface design guides very well. Most elements are represented by icons so be sure to explore them to see what they do.