Whether you’re looking to log receipts for a big project or handle business on the road, scanner apps let you forget the hassle of dedicated scanners or bulky all-in-one printers. Better still, most apps make it simple to share scans, mark up images and put your scanned documents to use.
When trying to find the best scanner app for Android, we looked at multiple factors. High on our list are ease of use, affordable pricing and integration with a variety of cloud storage options. We found 5 options we feel represent outstanding value and are great choices for anyone looking to capture or share documents from their phone or tablet.
Related: Best iOS scanner apps
ScanBot Editor's Pick
With more than 25,000 ratings on Google Play, ScanBot is one of the most popular options available. It comes in two different versions, but the free version is likely more than enough for most users. Features include the ability to export to PDF or JPG, multi-page scanning and enhanced color filters.
However, where this scanning app shines is ease of use. It uses automatic page detection to crop, optimize the perspective of the shot and improve the quality of the scan--all without the need for user input. Just frame the page on the screen and let ScanBot take care of the rest.
Upgrading to the Pro version from inside the app brings text recognition, signature capture, smart file naming and the ability to theme the app. If you’re scanning sensitive information, Pro also allows you to lock the app with a passcode to keep your information secure. While not deal breakers for many, power users may find use in the features.
Easily the most powerful scanning app on Android, the only thing keeping CamScanner from the Editor’s Choice slot is its pricing. While most scanning apps are a simple one-time purchase, CamScanner features a monthly/yearly subscription model to the tune of approximately $50 per year. Add to this that the free version includes CamScanner watermarks, limiting its usefulness in a professional setting.
With the pricing out of the way, CamScanner offers a powerful set of tools and scanning quality that rivals a standalone scanner. Automatic cropping, perspective shifting and white balancing makes it easy to capture clear images. While the app requires you to tap the screen to scan, it features one of the fastest capture times of any app in this list.
The free version of the app includes 200MB of storage space for your documents and OCR indexing of your scans for fast searching. Upgrading to the paid version unlocks faxing features, the ability to edit OCR information, collaboration tools, integration with most major cloud storage providers and 10GB of storage space for your scans.
GeniusScan features a dead simple interface and one of the best scan qualities we’ve seen among scanning apps. All of the post-processing to make your scan pop is done on the phone without uploading your shots to a server. This makes it one of the faster apps on the list.
The free version includes everything you might need for basic use. While you still must tap the screen to capture, the app handles all the other optimization options--such as perspective shifting and contrast balancing--automatically.
Upgrading to the paid version of the app, Genius Scan+, will set you back $7 and unlock better integration with cloud storage services, the ability to quickly create multi-page scans and integration with their Genius Fax app.
Office Lens is a wildcard. If you regularly use Microsoft Office or attend meetings with endless whiteboard presentations, you should definitely consider this app. It integrates with common Office suite applications--including Word and Powerpoint--providing additional formatting options you won’t find in the other apps.
Its whiteboard mode is also designed to help eliminate glare and improve clarity for capturing those fun stick-figure explanations of last quarter’s earnings in vivid detail.
The app’s weak point is options. It's a one-tap affair, providing little in the way of tweaking your scans if you’re not happy with the results. Still, with a low price tag of FREE, it's a handy way to bring scanned documents into common productivity software for editing or sharing.
As one of the newer additions to the scanner app market, TinyScanner is gaining a crowd of happy followers. Featuring many of the features of paid apps without the price tag, the app offers cloud storage integration, faxing, image editing and passcode protection. Instead of offering endless menus of controls, the app uses a few simple sliders to help you hone your scan quality and get a great looking result.
Jumping to the paid version of the app improves scan quality, offers slightly better image optimization options and more export options when creating PDFs. One area where this app still falls behind others is a lack of post-processing. Where most apps now will adapt settings automatically, you must tweak settings prior to capturing the image to get the most out of your scans with TinyScanner.
With a great set of features in the free version of the app--and an affordable and impressive paid version--we have to go with ScanBot as our current Editor’s Choice. The free version offers one of the more comprehensive scanning tools available and the paid additions are welcome options for power users and business professionals. Add in the automatic page detection and simple operation and we feel that the app outshines both the cheaper and more feature-filled competition.
Did we miss your favourite scanning app? Have a specific feature you can’t seem to find in an app? We want to hear what you think! Drop a comment in the box below or get in touch on our Mobile Tech page at Facebook.
P.S. If you’re just looking for a quick scan and don’t plan to use the feature often, you might find that Google Drive already offers everything you need. Google offers full instructions for accessing the option here. While you won’t find much in terms of sharing and optimization choices, it’s perfectly acceptable for quick captures of receipts or when you need to copy a document in a hurry.
P.P.S. Planning to scan often? The clever tinkerers at Instructables have instructions for a cheap phone mount that will ensure great framing, eliminate shaky scans and breaks down quickly for on-the-go use.