Anyone who has attended one of my genealogy classes knows that I love the Scannable app for iPhones.  It is very simple to use (point your phone at the document with the app open, the app finds the document, zooms in, focuses, and scans) and it is free.  The quality of the scans are very good and because the app focuses for you, you rarely get bad pictures.

The only thing not to love about Scannable is that it does not have OCR (Optical Character Recognition), meaning that if you scan a page of a book, you cannot search that page to find those words/names that are of particular interest to you.  I thought it did have this feature but found out recently that I was wrong – argh!  Lack of OCR obviously makes the app less useful when you are scanning documents that you want to make widely available for different uses.

So, color me happy when I discovered that Adobe has released its own scanning app that can be used on iPhones or Androids.  The app’s name is Adobe Scan and is available free through the App Store or Google Play.  It is just as easy as Scannable to use but it also has OCR.  The final document is in PDF form and it can be emailed or shared with others.

The text recognition does take a bit of time to develop the document – it is not instantaneous.  However, the quality of the product is very good.  I tested it several times to make sure!

I researched all of this because I was looking for a free and fast way of scanning local history books and newspapers that could then be shared with the library’s patrons.  I ended up deciding we had far too many years of newspapers to be scanned in-house – but I also discovered a great app in the process.  I hope it is useful for you in your genealogy – happy research!