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Favorite Four: OCR Apps

Posted by Jennifer Allen on April 12th, 2013

Remember when scanners were big, bulky things that plugged into obtuse parallel ports and almost never worked as well as they should have? Long gone are those days, both in terms of the ports they use and being so restricted to bulky equipment. Now, there's a whole selection of iOS apps out there, keen to make things easier by turning an iPhone or iPad into a portable scanner. We take a look at our four favorite OCR apps.

Image To Text
It might not be the most feature rich of apps here but, crucially, Image To Text is a free app and thereby, an ideal starting place for anyone keen to scan in content. All the user has to do is take a photo of a document that they want to extract text from, then leave the app to do all the work, thereby converting everything to a text file with editable text. It's not perfect, and it's restricted to text only, but it's a handy and reasonably quick tool to try out.

The most expensive entry here, Prizmo offers plenty of different features. The app can be used to scan and recognize many types of documents, including business cards, bills and whiteboards, making it easy to share via various services. With the business card interface, it's possible to create contacts through the information gleaned, while receipts and bills can be exported to a spreadsheet. Crucially, it's often very accurate, especially under a bright light. A text-to-speech facility completes the package.

It's easy to forget that Evernote does everything. Ok, maybe not everything, but it does a whole bunch of useful things, including offering a free way to scan in useful pieces of information. It's possible to create notes with content that has been scanned in, both of the picture and text variety, all for future reference at a later date. Searching functionality is as powerful as one would expect from the Swiss Army Knife of productivity apps.

Scanner Pro
Providing a high level of accuracy, Scanner Pro works well in its efforts to turn someone's life paperless. Users can scan receipts, notes, book pages and mostly everything else they can think of with this app, with everything converted into a PDF file. With email and print features, the app is particularly useful for those who need to sign contracts before sending them off via email. Online storage capabilities are also there, meaning it's possible to securely store many different types of document through this app.

Can’t remember a name? Quick, Whoodl it!

Posted by Ben Harvell on May 23rd, 2010
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Back in the early nineties, nobody would have understood the meaning of “Googling” something, but Google is now one of the most powerful companies on the web. The team at INYFX, Inc hopes that Whoodl will follow the same path. While not a search engine, this app does return fast results – the names of people you’ve forgotten. You know the scenario, someone spots you across the room, waves and begins making their way over to you. You smile back, attempting to stay calm as the icy realization that you’ve forgotten their name hits. So what do you do? Hope that a simple “Hello, how are you?” suffices? Maybe, but what if you have to introduce them to someone else who joins you? The first thing you need to do is to PAY ATTENTION next time you meet someone. If that doesn’t work, download Whoodl.

Whoodl is a very simple app that allows you to quickly tap in a name along with certain keywords and save them for quick access later. Dave you met at the golf course goes in as Dave Shore with the tag “golf”. Next time you see him out of context at the supermarket and struggle for his name, type golf into Whoodl and you’ll have your name in a matter of seconds. The company claims the app is far faster than the iPhone’s address book and that it’s designed for those names you wouldn’t necessarily add to your Contacts anyway.

We do worry that adding multiple names to a single tag could lead you to calling someone by the wrong name entirely, but this is nevertheless an interesting app that could help you out of some very sticky social situations.

[itmsapp: 362800934 ]


+ Universal & Apple Watch App - Designed for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch
By Jeff Scott on March 22nd, 2010
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SUPER SPEEDY
SoundHound easily beats out Shazam for music recognition. But if you already have another music recognition app, there may not be enough new here to justify the purchase for casual users.
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Shazam Encore

+ Universal & Apple Watch App - Designed for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch
By Arron Hirst on November 19th, 2009
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: DISAPPOINTING
Shazam Entertainment launch the paid version of their music recognition service. Ad-ridden and boasting a scarce UI it's a complete disappointment.
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I See Ewe--A Preschooler Word Game

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Donna Harrison on March 10th, 2009
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: RECOMMENDED
This matching game for preschoolers offers toddlers a fun and different way to learn to identify animals, shapes and colors while offering parents a (possibly) welcome, if not temporary, reprieve.
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