Developer: ABBYY

Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.5
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 3GS

iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★☆☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

TextGrabber is a handy little app that can help users get text from a business card or flyer or poster onto their iOS device without having to type it all in by hand. It does this through OCR (optical character recognition) software that is built into the app. By taking a photo of the text they want to capture, users can have TextGrabber analyze the photo and pull out any text it finds, converting it to digital text. Once the text from the photo is captured and converted to digital text, the user can do anything with it that they could do with any normal digital text. Email, text, copy and paste, or even just save for later.

Users have the option of snapping a photo of their text in the app or loading a photo of text from their photo library. Once the photo is loaded in the app, the user can crop the photo down to just the desired text. This helps the app hone in on the text the user is interested in capturing and it cuts down on the time it takes the app to analyze the photo and capture the text. Once the crop is made the app goes to work and pulls out all the text it can find in the image. “Find” is the operative word here because if the text is obscured at all or harder to distinguish from say a background image, the app will not be able to find and capture it. The text needs to be fairly clear for the app to work at all.

Even when the text is clear though, TextGrabber has a hard time getting the text just right. Often it will misread punctuation and spacing and will output a jumble of random characters in the middle of the text. More often than not, the text that it captures is close to the original with some slight differences in spacing and punctuation. For grabbing a few words or numbers here and there, TextGrabber works just fine but it lacks the accuracy needed to be a truly useful app.

Posted in: iPhone Apps and Games, Productivity, Reviews

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,