How to Use an iPhone as a Scanner

By Rosemary Peters

If you have an important document to send, and you are in desperate need of a scanner, look no further than your iPhone. With the 8-megapixel iSight camera on both the 5s and the 5c models, combined with the assistance of some creative application makers, you can turn your iPhone into a scanner. All prices for the apps are as of June 2014.

TurboScan

TurboScan is a powerful scanning app. For $3, you can use the app to scan documents as high quality PDFs, PNGs and JPEGs, which you can share via email and upload to cloud file hosting services like Dropbox. The app uses algorithms to auto-detect edges, adjust for skew, improve contrast and brightness and eliminate shadows. It also offers a feature called SureScan, which stitches together three pictures of the same document to create a crisp scan. However, there is no way to re-crop an image once it has been imported into the program, and documents cannot be tagged or grouped into categories.

CamScanner

CamScanner Free makes it simple to quickly scan, edit and send files. Upon taking a photo of your document, you can send it as a PDF, though it will have a watermark that says "Generated by CamScanner." You can also fax the files (at $1 per page) and upload them to Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote and Box.net. If you create an account, you can sync your documents to the CamScanner's cloud storage and then access them from multiple devices and online. There is also a Pro version available for $5 that has more functionality, such as extracting text from images and batch downloading PDF files.

ScannerPro

ScannerPro's price of $7 makes it one of the more expensive scanning apps, but it boasts quite a bit of functionality and is easy to use. You can save, tag, email and print batch scans, and you can sync them to iCloud and other cloud storage platforms. The algorithms powering the app also enable you to improve the quality of your scans through perspective correction, shadow removal and automatic contrast and brightness adjustments. However, the app does not have the ability to stitch together multiple images.

Genius Scan

Genius Scan enables you to upload and alter your documents and then share them as a JPEG or PDF via email. You can also access documents online using its Wi-Fi Sharing option. The basic and free version of the app is ad-supported. With Genius Scan+, which costs $7, the ads disappear, and you can upload your files to most cloud file hosting services, print files and add email signatures to your messages.