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The Best Mobile Scanning Apps

Updated Dec 12, 2022
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Smartphones are the Swiss Army knives of the digital world, and mobile scanning apps are one of the best examples of why. Using your phone’s camera, these apps can scan and extract text from virtually any document—plus whiteboards, books, and more—while automatically correcting for distortion and skew. After spending more than 50 hours researching 22 scanning apps and testing 13 of them, our favorite is the lean, efficient, and free-to-use Adobe Scan (for Android and iOS). It’s simple to use, capable of beautiful scan quality, and equipped with excellent text-recognition capabilities.

Adobe Scan, the best scanning app

Adobe Scan

The best scanning app
Free and refreshingly straightforward, Adobe Scan is the best app when all you need is clean PDFs and reliable text recognition.
We recommend
SwiftScan, pricey but powerful


Pricey but powerful
The paid versions of SwiftScan provide extra features and sharing options that make it a more versatile, powerful app than our other picks.
A better upgrade
Microsoft Office Lens, best for microsoft office users

Microsoft Office Lens

Best for Microsoft Office users
Lens is especially good if you use Microsoft’s Office suite, but it’s a solid option for anyone who wants free scanning with (mostly) properly formatted OCR results.
Another good choice
Apple Notes, best free, basic scanning app for ios users

Apple Notes

Best free, basic scanning app for iOS users
Apple Notes isn’t just for celebrity apologies: It’s also great at capturing basic scans of documents, whiteboards, and more—and it produces some of the cleanest OCR results we’ve ever seen.
Another good choice

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