Previously, I have discussed OCR and its functionalities and promised to share the examinations we carried out for finding best android OCR apps. In case you missed it, click here to read the context before you move further in the article.
Without much adieu, let's get started!
Say, you need text from a document, a receipt, or an image, and you don’t have time to type it out, what do you do?
Pretty simple! You search for an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Android app for the process. I am sharing some of the android applications which I came across, along with its derived results for respective apps.
CamScanner is a multi-purpose app that can be used for scanning documents (converting images to PDF) as well as an effective OCR tool (converting images to editable text), or so they claim. I tested the app specifically for its OCR capabilities and found it less than satisfactory.
Its OCR functionality is pretty good. In our testing, it often missed certain words or misspelled them. One great thing about it, though, is that it can batch process documents. Unlike some other apps, it doesn’t require much manual setup before scanning a document.
This app can scan text from images on your device (previously taken by your camera or from Google Drive) or scan text from photos taken immediately by the camera. The best part is the OCR of Text Fairy is really accurate. Top that off with the fact that Text Fairy is free (of price and ads) as well as open source. Say, you are scanning a book and the pages are bent near the center, the app will scan and take an image and correct it automatically.
Google Keep is available on the web and has mobile apps for the Android and IOS mobile operating systems. Keep offers a variety of tools for taking notes, including text, lists, images, and audio. Text from images can be extracted using optical character recognition, and additionally, voice recordings can also be transcribed. Google Keep is a strong competitor with a lot of note-taking and storing features. The way it works is a little different because Keep is a minimalist note-taking app. You scan an image with text and then tap on the three dots on the right of the screen to “grab the text” in the image.
OCR Text Scanner
OCR Text Scanner features a simplified interface like magnification and a brightness slider to capture text in the clearest way possible and supports over 55 languages including English, French, Italian, Swedish and more. In our testing, it seemed to work mostly fine on documents, although it missed a word or two in various places. It cannot grab image text from handwritten notes.
Office Lens is Microsoft’s take on bringing a portable scanning app to Android devices. Its headline feature is the ability to scan and digitize documents, but it also comes with a handy OCR option.
In our testing, Office Lens came across as one of the best apps when it comes to recognizing text from an image. It seems to have no problem whatsoever in identifying even colorful fonts. Easy to scan, store, and search everything in the cloud.
Adobe Scan is one of the document management apps, and they have a scanning app too. Point the camera and the app will automatically detect and scan it. With the OCR tech, you can scan for text inside documents. It has a built-in editor so you can annotate, highlight, and comment on text in the scanned documents on the fly. Adobe Scan is a time saver. The Adobe Scan scanner app even lets you scan multi-page documents and save with a single tap. I couldn’t find an option to save as JPEG, it allows only PDF. It can also be called as PDF Scanner.
As like above all apps it also converts the scannable document into PDF. Evernote’ s ability to search for text within images is a popular feature. It organizes notes in any way you want and shares with anyone you like.
Methodology of Testing
We have experimented with scanned documents in both printed and handwritten formats for retrieving exact data in the desired format. In addition to it, we have even tested with some of API such as OCR Space, Google API, Online OCR API call, so on and so forth.
In the exhaustive list discussed above, all applications and API calls have the ability to digitize the printed document into PDF but they failed to digitize the handwritten documents, and that's where ICR and IWR play an important role, which I have already discussed in the first part of this article. Let's not shy away from saying that it's nothing short of a boon!
OCR – Optical Character Recognition - Part 1