Microsoft Releases a Document Scanner App for iPhones and Android

Scanner apps have been available for some time for Apple Inc.’s iPhone and Google Inc.’s Android. These apps allow users to take photos of a document and turn it into a editable file, including OCR conversion to text, such as a .DOC file that works in most any word processor. These apps are great for genealogists who often need copies of old documents or pages from a book.

Microsoft released Office Lens for the Windows Phone a while ago, an app that takes images with a cell phone camera and converts them into editable .DOC files. However, few people could use Office Lens because Windows Phone commands only about 3% of the smartphone market. All that is changing now. This week, Microsoft released Office Lens for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. The app is available today free of charge.

Office Lens essentially turns a phone into a scanner, using the camera to take a photo of a menu, receipt, whiteboard, business card, or any other printed item, and instantly cropping the image and storing it in Microsoft’s OneNote note-taking app, or OneDrive cloud storage app. The app can save an image as a Word file, PowerPoint presentation or PDF file, and uses optical character recognition to make the text searchable and ready for editing.

Office Lens is available now for free in the iTunes store at and in preview mode for Android users at

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