What are OCR Apps & Software?
An OCR app or Optical Character Recognition software helps in the conversion of pictures to text. The OCR technology analyses any image or document and then the text scanner app compares it with all the fonts that have been fed into its database and by matching particular features of a font typical to its characters.
A few of the OCR driven software also process it through a spell checker so that unrecognisable words could be guessed by the image to text converter app. While it is less accurate, the most accurate approximation is what is required from the software.
OCR software can provide a helping hand to researchers, students, as well as companies and professionals.
What is the purpose of OCR apps?
The major use of OCR scanner apps lies in converting paper documents into an editable softcopy. Before the invention of OCR, paper documents had to be re-typed in case there was an error, a strenuous and time taking task. These text scanner apps also find a massive use in digitising historic documents, automatic vehicle plate identification, data entry and aiding visually impaired in reading.
List of 10 best OCR Apps for Android and iOS
- Office Lens
- Text Fairy
- Google Keep
- PDF Scanner
- Adobe Scan
- Smart Lens
- OmniPage Ultimate
- Evernote Scannable
Office Lens is one of the most advanced apps developed by Microsoft. This means it already comes integrated with the other Office suite apps. Office Lens app to convert image to text has a powerful OCR scanner and works with Docs, Excel, OneNote, PFD and PowerPoint.
Office lens OCR scanner app provides several adjustments for scanning print paper, whiteboards, photos and business cards, where it employs a technology which removes the glare and adjusts the brightness for accurate results.
Pros: With Office Lens, users can scan and save everything on OneDrive while also being able to edit converted texts in Word or OneNote. Hence it can also be aptly called the official OCR software for Windows 10. This text recognition app is one of the most important tools for people who use Office 365 as it is really easy to use and works smoothly, without interruptions by ads, as is the case with some of the best free OCR software.
Cons: This app to convert image to text doesn’t work to its full potential without Office 365. So, if you’re not a Microsoft 365 business standard user, it is wise to use a different OCR Software. Also, while Office Lens is free, MS Suite isn’t.
Supported Platform: Android, iOS
Final Thoughts: I would only recommend Office Lens to 365 users. You can’t go wrong with this app if that’s the case. Easy to scan, store, and search everything in the cloud.
Text Fairy OCR android app is without a doubt one of the best OCR apps available in the market today. It does exactly what it is built for. This is one of the few free OCR software apps that come without any ads. It has one thing that Office Lens lacks; the feature to correct image perspective.
Let’s assume that you are scanning the pages of a book and it is bent in the center. Text Fairy text scanner app will automatically correct its viewing angle, scan the image and correct it.
This enhances the accuracy of text scanning. After this, it gives you the option of editing the text, in case of any minor discrepancy and then you can export it to PDF.
Unlike Office Lens, Text Fairy’s OCR scanner software works only with printed texts and it doesn’t support handwriting. However, on the flipside, this text recognition app identifies around 50 languages.
Pros: It autocorrects image perspective, supports more than 50 languages, and exports to PDF. This OCR scanner software doesn’t have ads and is completely free. Users also get a text to voice feature.
Cons: The image to text converter app doesn’t provide cloud or any third-party app support. It also doesn’t support handwritings.
Supported Platforms: Android
Final thoughts: Text Fairy app to convert image to text is one of the most popular and easy-to-use apps with a minimalist design and an interactive UI. It is suitable for scanning, organising, and searching a limited number of documents.
CamScanner is an all-rounder best OCR app, which can be used for multiple tasks such as scanning documents and converting images into PDF. CamScanner’s advanced OCR feature is nominally priced. It is however inconvenient especially when you compare it with other available solutions in the market.
It is less accurate than the other OCR scanner apps in the market and is prone to make mistakes. Another issue it has is that scanned texts cannot be edited in a .txt format file. That feature would require users to further purchase the premium version, which is about 4 times more expensive than the pro version.
Pros: This text scanner app provides a cloud storage account which can be used to store all the documents and images. It also provides good support and the UI of the app is convenient to navigate. CamScanner is one of the best OCR app for iOS.
Cons: Its OCR system is somewhat less accurate as compared to the other apps in the market. Apart from this, it is very limiting, and its full potential is only unlocked by paying a fee, when the same features are available free of cost in the other apps.
Supported Platforms: iOS, Android
Final Thoughts: It is wise to buy the premium version to avail all the features of this image to text app. This will also enable the cloud storage option, which you can use to store your documents.
Google Keep Image to Text App
Google Keep OCR App Android best used not just for its OCR functionality but also for taking and storing notes. The app is a direct competitor of OneNote and Evernote. Being a product by Google, this Google OCR App is in the same integration network as Docs, Calendar and all the other services provided by Google. And like OneNote, the app is free and flashes no ads.
In spite of being a neck-to-neck contender of OneNote and Evernote, this text recognition app is a bit different from them.
Google Keep text scanner app was initially introduces as a minimalist note taking app by Google. It provides the users, the ability to scan images with texts and then to “grab the text” with the help of the three dots on the right-hand panel of the screen.
One it has captured the texts; users can add texts to the note which are easily searchable and editable. The best part is this image to text app can easily be exported to Google Docs.
Pros: Google OCR app is free and easily accessible, especially if you have an android phone. Apart from this, it is pretty accurate with a very small margin of errors.
Cons: As discussed, since Google Keep isn’t exclusively an OCR app, one needs to copy-paste items to a new document manually. In addition, Google Keep image to text converter app requires an active internet connection to process the images.
Supported platforms: Android and iOS
Final Thoughts: Google Keep is one of the best OCR scanner app for Android by Google because it has everything you need including cloud storage and cross-platform compatibility and sync for free. It is more useful if you need a kick-ass note app.
PDF Scanner app to convert image to text, although is a standard document scanner which comes with some in-app purchases for receiving additional features, yet, its OCR technology is free. Users can scan images for text and then convert it into a PDF file quite easily. Like other apps on the isle, it also lets users edit the texts before converting or saving.
What’s more; the app supports about 100 different languages and the cherry on the cake is that it doesn’t require an active internet connection to do its work.
Pros: It has a brilliant interface and supports more than 100 languages. It can be used even without an active internet connection.
Cons: This OCR scanner app is prone to some errors and the free version has too many ads to ruin the experience.
Supported Platforms: iOS and Android
Final Thoughts: PDF Scanner is the best OCR app for android which provides a free OCR scanner software. While the ads can prove to be distracting, users can upgrade to remove them.
Adobe OCR app Android is probably the most popular apps when it comes to managing documents, so it is not surprising that they would have a scanning app as well. Adobe scan enables its users to just point their camera towards the text and it will scan and detect it automatically.
With its advanced OCR technology, users can scan for texts inside documents seamlessly. It also provides a built-in editor so that the users can highlight, annotate, comment and edit texts on the go. Adobe Scan text scanner app saves time.
Although Adobe Scan has a minimalist design, it comes with a 5 GB of online storage.
Pros: Adobe Scan image to text converter app is free and works without much margin or errors. It offers 5 GB of cloud storage space and its OCR technology is one of the best in the market.
Cons: Adobe Scan isn’t compatible with third-party cloud storage devices.
Supported Platforms: Android and iOS
Final Thoughts: Adobe Scan is probably the most advanced and user-friendly app. It does what it is meant to do and is free. However, it doesn’t support third party apps but considered as one of the best OCR app for android.
Smart Lens app to convert image to text not only allows its users to scan various documents and convert the images into text, but it also helps translate those text into other languages. It can also be used to scan business cards where it can detect name, number, address and email id, and can also sort them systematically.
Users can convert and scan any image or document even if it is in a foreign language. It also includes a QR code reader which helps in availing offers and payments. The pro version, which is available for price, remove ads and allows users to use the app for unlimited number of scans.
Pros: It supports foreign languages apart from English and also comes with a language translator.
Cons: On the flipside, it doesn’t support handwriting notes such as CamScanner and Adobe Scan.
Supported platforms: iOS and android
Final word: Smart Lens OCR app android can come in handy if you need to visit a different country. Yet, because it doesn’t support handwriting, it limits the users.
Readiris text scanner app is a useful tool for reading and managing PDF documents. It is the perfect solution for converting all documents in paper format to digital format.
This OCR scanner app for iOS devices can also be used to split and aggregate your PDFs and even add signatures to them. By using this image to text converter app, you can edit the text present within images.
Pros: With this app to convert image to text, you can listen to your documents as it converts them to mp3 format. These audio files can be accessed on different devices
Cons: Readiris OCR app is meant for corporate use and offers limited functionalities for individual users.
Supported Platforms: Android, iOS
Final thoughts: Readiris is one of the best text scanner app for iPhone and can recover text from images in different formats. However, most of the unique features are present in its corporate version which comes at an exorbitant cost.
OmniPage Ultimate OCR app rises up to all your text scanning and text recognition needs. You also have the option to create fully automated workflows. The OCR app android has a slew of enhanced proofreading tools. These allow you to view the scanned image in one window, edited text in another window and then compare them side by side.
Conversely, you can also choose to see the scanned image in the background and the editable text in front of it in a semi-transparent window.
Pros: You can add documents from cloud services such as Dropbox directly to this OCR scanner app. It also provides text to speech services.
Cons: OmniPage Ultimate OCR apps’ interface is not highly intuitive.
Supported Platforms: Windows XP and above
Final words: A useful image to text converter app let down by its average interface.
Evernote Scannable is an easy to use and smart OCR app to convert image to text. It scans and identifies different types of documents and can also be used for cropping, rotating and changing the brightness of the scanned images.
You have the option to choose the format in which the scanned images would be stored. The text scanner app can also identify visitor cards while scanning and adds the details on the card to contact list
Pros: In this image to text converter app, you can add notes and drawings to your scanned images. You can even annotate PDFs with this OCR app for iOS devices.
Cons: Useful features such as sharing of docs over texts and emails is not available in the android version.
Supported platforms: iOS, Android
Final word: Evernote Scannable is a user-friendly OCR scanner app for iPhone, and its android version lacks several useful features.
How to Find the Best Image to Text App
While all the text scanner apps mentioned above provide the image-to-text conversion, they differ in accuracy and in terms of the tools they provide. Hence, it is really important to choose an OCR app that suits your requirements so that you can make the optimal use of all its features, tools and other perks such as cloud space that come with it.
While all the apps mentioned above provide the image-to-text conversion, they differ in accuracy and in terms of the tools they provide. Hence, it is really important to choose an OCR App that suits your requirements so that you can make the optimal use of all its features, tools and other perks such as cloud space that come with it.