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Easy Scan really does scan so easily

Easy Scan Home Screen

Easy Scan (Smart Scanner) is a new entry into the iDevice-Camera-As-Document-Scanner category. What distinguishes it from all of the other ones I have tried (and I have tried a lot of them) is in how simple it is. It lacks many of the bells and whistles that other similar apps provide and therein lies its strength. The process of capturing a document and routing it to another app or service is simple and fast. I didn't have to create an account or deal with any complicated schemes for moving the files back to my Mac via iTunes or anything else like that. Easy Scan costs US$6.99 and works on all iOS devices running iOS 7.0 or later.

When you run the app, you get a simple choice: take a picture or use an existing one. Regardless of which way you go, the next screen shows your document with a flexible selection around it. You can drag each of the four corners to where you want them (to the edges of the paper or to enclose something on the page). Especially helpful is a small zoom window in the corner that shows you exactly where the center of the circle is as your finger obscures the view as you drag the circle).

Easy Scan Selection Zooming

Once your selection is made, Easy Scan then resizes and skews the original back to an actual rectangle. This was necessary for me as my light source is directly overhead and in order to take a picture of my document without a giant shadow in the middle, I had to move to one side, which lead to a distorted picture. The restored rectangle looked good and, most important, the text was legible.

You can do simple enhancements to the final image: Rotate it 90 degrees, Punch up the saturation and contrast a bit (and generally lighten a darker image) on a color image, convert it to grayscaleor convert it to black and white, which also pumps up the contrast. This last setting worked very well on standard documents I tested such as bills and letters while the color setting could only do so much with the comic strip I used.

Before and After view of the Color Enhancement in Easy Scan

Once you have the image the way you want it, you can use the built-in sharing feature of iOS to send the file to a wide variety of places including the camera roll as a jpeg, or to another app as either a jpeg or a pdf. A wide variety of choices were provided including Evernote and Dropbox. Easy Scan also works directly with these other apps (provided they are installed). I did not have to authorize any of them, it was able to simply add the file to the various services.

The only place where the app stumbles is in what you do when you are finished and are ready to scan the next item. You have to tap "Back" at the top of the screen, which returns you to the screen where you drag out your selection, and then tap "Retake" to start over. This is very confusing and I would hope they add a button to the final screen to let you scan a new document.

Easy Scan (Smart Scanner) is a bit hefty at US$6.99 but if you are looking for something to let your iOS device work as a scanner that is fast and uncomplicated, it's worth considering.

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