Microsoft has launched the iOS and Android versions of its highly-rated Office Lens application, which was first introduced to devices running on its Windows Phone operating system last year.
Likened to having “a scanner in your pocket,” Office lens is an application that enables mobile users to easily produce quality scanned documents using the camera sensors on their devices. It allows you to capture and store virtually anything you would like to have handy, ranging from receipts to business cards and notes on white or blackboards.
There are already numerous tools in app stores that make it possible for users to scan with their device camera. Such apps include Evernote’s Scannable, Scanner Pro, Scanbot and TinyScan Pro. But Microsoft added a bit of extra functionality to its own app, especially in terms of its integration to Office suite.
Offices Lens crops and enhances scanned images, making them readable. Redundant angles are straightened and shadows are cleared off. Scanned images are synced to OneNote or OneDrive automatically thereby enabling users to have access to them everywhere and on different devices. Images can be converted to Word, PowerPoint or even PDF files.
The app ensures the layout of a scanned paper document is preserved when exported to Microsoft Word. It uses optical character recognition (OCR) technology to read printed text in scanned images so as to convert such to text formats. Office Lens also makes it possible for you to scan business cards and turn them into contacts that can be added on your smartphone.
In addition, Office Lens is able to convert images drawn with hand on a board into PowerPoint presentations. You will be able to move, trim and do other editing tasks on PowerPoint objects created from the scanned images.
Office Lens has three settings or modes, namely: Whiteboard, Document and Photo modes. These are intended to help you achieve the best results. The Whiteboard mode eliminates glare and shadows, while the Document mode makes texts appear clear and reading easy. Pictures of people and scenery can be taken in the Photo mode.
This free app, which was introduced into Windows Phone Store in March 2014, looks like one you should have one your phone, especially if you are a student, to enable you save money on scanning documents and pictures. Office Lens for Windows Phone has a rating of 4.6/5 from over 18,500 reviews – quite decent for a free app.
Users of iOS devices can get the Office Lens from the Apple App Store. Only a preview version is available for Android devices for now; you can apply to become a tester via Google+.
UPDATE (May 28): The full version of the Office Lens app for Android is now available in Google Play Store.