The Best Mobile Scanning Apps

I have long trusted the reviews published on the Wirecutter web site. The site tests all products carefully and appears to publish unbiased reviews. I have always had good luck following the Wirecutter’s advice. I have no idea why it is called “wirecutter,” however.

Genealogists seem to have lots of uses for scanners, converting paper documents into images that can be stored in a computer or in the cloud. Census records, deeds, wills, and even old family photographs are among the favorite items for genealogists to digitize. Even better, a cell phone camera can serve as a scanner of sorts when used with a good app designed for the purpose. I use my cell phone as a scanner more often than I use the expensive scanner that sits on my desk. With that in mind, I noticed a recent article by Ben Keough published in the Wirecutter web site:

“This may seem shocking, but unless you’re an accountant or archivist, you probably don’t need a traditional scanner—today’s smartphone scanning apps are simply that good. After spending more than 35 hours researching 20 scanning apps and testing seven of them, we’ve determined that our favorite is the lean and efficient Adobe Scan (for Android and iOS). It’s dead simple to use, capable of beautiful scan quality, and equipped with excellent text-recognition capabilities. Best of all, it’s totally free—even for iPhone owners.”

Adobe Scan

I have never performed a side-by-side comparison of scanner apps the way that Ben Keough has done. However, I can say that I have been using Adobe Scan in my cell phones for several years and am very pleased with the results. A number of images shown in past articles of this newsletter were generated with Adobe Scan. I also find the OCR text-recognition capability to be very good, but never perfect. Then again, very few OCR apps are perfect and certainly not when used with images snapped with a cell phone camera.

While Ben Keough obviously loves the Adobe Scan app, he also describes some alternatives, including one that he admits is an even better scanner app than Adobe’s, but is also more expensive.

You can read The Best Mobile Scanning Apps by Ben Keough at:


Dick, Re: Scanners — have you gotten the “go fund me” scanner you mentioned a good while ago? I forget the company’s name, I think it began with an “A”?


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