Yes, I am aware of the fact that there have been a lot of scan apps for iOS that “replace” hardware scanners for some users. I have been a Scanner Pro user for years and that is a very good app. But, still, those apps are absolutely no replacement for a dedicated scanner as far as I am concerned. If you take a really close look at a PDF generated from an iOS scan app, you should be able to see that the PDF originates from a scanner app and not from a dedicated real scanner. There is some blurriness to it, which I do not like very much.
On Wednesday, I stumbled upon this article from MacStories.net and I was intrigued. In his article, John Vorhees writes that he owns a ScanSnap S1300i, but that he is not sure why anymore. “Yeah, whatever…” That was my first reaction, because I have been hearing such claims over and over again. Well, I tried the app and I already went for the €9.99 in-app purchase (it is called “Premium Pack”, $8.99 for US customers according to the app store website, and $4.99 as an upgrade from a previous version). Apparently, these are introductory prices that will be raised in a week.
There are also subscription options available that are necessary if you want to use optional OCR cloud options that are more powerful in comparison to the on-device OCR according to Creaceed. Those subscription options include the Premium Pack and for $9.99 annually, you get 50 OCR cloud requests per month. For $49.99 annually, you get 500 OCR cloud requests per month. I have not tried the cloud option because I was not ready for one more subscription. The cloud option also comes with OCR for handwritten documents. This option only works with scans in English handwriting.
The scans done automatically with Prizmo 5 are very good already and I love the options to manually get contrast, brightness, perspective and much much more right afterwards, if necessary. Prizmo 5 works very good in automatic mode, but I really like that I am able to even further improve the automated results manually afterwards: those scans can be improved from very good to just awesome that way. I was able to achieve results that make it really hard to determine if I used my ScanSnap or if I used Prizmo 5 on my iPhone.
Concerning the on-device OCR results, I am fine with it, but at least in combination with German they are not as stellar as in the demo video. Still, they are at least as good as in other scan apps like Scanner Pro, which I had been using for years as my number one scan app until now as I have discovered Prizmo 5.
What absolutely blew me away was the demo video in the App Store. Apparently, the app is able to help visually impaired users by telling them how to position their iPhone in order to scan a document correctly, when it comes down to the angle for instance. Afterwards, it is able to read out loud the contents of the scan. I have no idea, if it really works that great, but the video looked impressive for sure.
Prizmo 5 can be found here in the App Store. It is free, but for daily use, it makes sense to buy the “Premium Pack” or to choose one of their subscription options.
Last but not least: I have been a silent listener since summer 2006 and I have not missed a show since then. I do not consider myself a real NosillaCastaway as I only have been in the live chat once, but the show feels like home and part of the family. I miss Honda Bob and the awesome Honda Bob commercials! The NosillaCast is the only one I listen to regularly without skipping one. Thank you for your amazing work (Allison, Steve, Bart and everybody who contributed to the show in the past)! Keep up the great work!
Christian from Germany