Currently, there is a wide selection of applications in the App Store that can give your iOS device a handy scanner function, one of those being GeniusScan, which I use personally and I’ve gotta say it works brilliantly, but according to Patently Apple, Apple are about to trump that with their own inbuilt application to tackle the need to scan on the move.

The patient which you can check out in the picture above has been described “as a mouse or scanner.” Which according to 9to5 Mac will work exactly like all of the third-party apps, allowing you to take a picture of the document you wish to scan, and the app will do the rest:

  1. The user opens the app and holds the iPhone over the document or object they want scanned.  They then snap a picture of it.  Apple’s on-board software then resizes the image to ‘letter’ or business card, A4 or whatever depending on original document.  Resizing includes aligning edges that get skewed by a sigle scan point rather than traditional scanning methods.  The user can then manually change the size of the document or the use (biz card?)
  2. On board software then separates images blocks from text.
  3. This is where it gets murky.  At last word, Apple was trying to do OCR both on-device and using alternative cloud methods for recognizing text.  Third party Optical Character Recognition (OCR) vs. in house solutions were also being tested.
  4. The resulting file can then be saved as a PDF, .Pages, exported to contacts (in the case of business cards for example).

Obviously, the main advantage of a built-in scanner app is that it could be integrated into all of the other iPhone applications, which could allow you to scan business cards and send that information to your Contacts, allowing you to add a new contact, without actually typing their details in.

But the best advantage would be the bragging rights, especially when you’re in the situation of a friend bragging about how they can flip their HTC to mute it, (we all have one) with this app you will have your own comeback, “when I flip my device it becomes a mouse” for instance.

What do you think? Is this an app you would use?

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