Over the last decade, smartphones have evolved in a way that they have replaced several gadgets like point and shoot cameras, music players, and the list keeps growing. Remember the time when you had to wait in line for the only scanner in the office that was the same for everyone? Well, you can do the same with your smartphone, which is simply in your pocket.
Here are the 10 best Android scanner apps that let you scan documents, photos, QR codes, and even barcodes.
What to Look for in an Android Scanner App?
A good Android scanner app should have automatic edge detection for accurate and high-quality scans. It should also have support for helpful features like:
- Perspective Correction
- Export scanned images in various file types like JPG, PDF, Word, etc.
- Cloud Storage Options
- Sort pages
We took a deep dive into the Google Play Store and tested several scanning applications. Some of them offered great features but had intrusive full-screen ads that detracted from the overall scanning experience. So we selected the best free solutions for scanning on Android devices with OCR support (Optical Character Recognition). We categorized them by document scanners, photo scanners, QR codes, and barcode scanners to make it easier for you.
Best Android Scanner Apps for Documents
1. Microsoft Lens
Microsoft Lens sounds like the company took a page out from Google’s book, and the app works very well as intended. It again has automatic edge detection of page borders and comes with a batch scanning mode as well. When it comes to filters, the Microsoft Lens packs in a good stack of them, making it feel like a photo editing application. You can also add texts with background highlighting in different colors and manually draw objects using the pen tool in individual images. Microsoft also bundles OCR support here, and the application can read out the text scanned using OCR in female and male voices.
Microsoft Lens lets you export your scanned images in file formats like JPG, PDF, Word, or PowerPoint. The application is free to use and does not contain any advertisements. It also gives you 5GB of free cloud storage when you sign in with a Microsoft account. The service also does not leave any watermarks on your scanned files.
Key features: 5GB of free cloud storage, OCR text-to-speech, plenty of filters for image processing.
2. Adobe Scan
Adobe Scan comes from the renowned house of Adobe, a big name in the creative software industry. The app is free to download on the Google Play Store. The scanning experience is a breeze with Adobe Scan as it automatically detects the edges of the document being scanned and crops it accordingly. You can also adjust the crop manually. There’s also a batch scanning mode where you can capture multiple images at once, and the app will crop the edges of the document in the background for faster scanning.
You can either choose to capture images within the app or select photos which are stored locally on your phone. Adobe Scan offers some filters like Black and White, Grayscale, and an AI-powered Automatic color filter which gives a scanner-like effect to the image. These options are available in the color menu. You can also sort, add, or delete images before converting them to PDF. After the scanned images are converted into PDF format, they are automatically stored in Adobe’s cloud servers. The app offers free cloud storage up to 2GB, and you can purchase additional storage to a maximum of 20GB.
Key features: Clean user interface, cloud storage up to 2GB, reliability, no ads.
Price: Free to use, additional storage and OCR functionality can be subscribed at $10/month.
CamScanner is a powerful scanning tool and brings in advanced features such as OCR and the ability to add texts over images. The edge detection of documents is very quick and accurate, and you can also adjust curve effects if you are capturing a paper document. The OCR function lets you scan texts directly from your images, whether it be from a book or a digital screen. The text obtained using OCR can be exported as a text file. However, OCR requires an active internet connection to work. Your scanned images can either be converted into PDF or exported as images in JPG format. The app also offers free cloud storage of 500MB, where you can store all of your scanned files.
The free version adds a small watermark to the bottom right corner of every image and has some advertisements. To remove the watermark, you will have to purchase the premium version, which also brings in features like password protecting your PDF files, exporting images in Word files, adding digital email signature to your scanned images, and more. These premium features are not accessible in the free version.
Key features: OCR, adding text to scanned images, multiple color filter effects.
Price: Free to use with watermark, premium version costs $19.99 annually.
vFlat is a feature-packed scanning application that comes with OCR support, the ability to import PDF files, dual page book scanning, and more. At this point, you may have already noticed that automatic edge detection is basic functionality for a scanner app, and vFlat does it too. The book scanner more shows a center grid line, where you can align two pages simultaneously in a single frame. It also has a finger removal tool, where the application will edit out your finger if it accidentally comes into the scanned image.
You can import existing PDF files on your phone and add more images to them. The app can export your scanned images in PDF and JPG format. The text scanned in OCR mode can also be exported in a text file. vFlat is completely free to use and does not contain any advertisements or watermarks in the app.
Key features: Importing PDF files, OCR, refreshing UI design.
5. Genius Scan
Genius Scan comes with a modern material design, and the application is very responsive. Just like other applications mentioned here, Genius Scan also detects edges of documents with good accuracy. It comes with a limited set of filters, and the app focuses more on functionality and does not try to be fancy. You can scan your documents directly in the app and also scan photos on your phone to create digital copies of them. The app allows you to export your scanned files in PDF and JPG formats without any watermarks.
Genius Scan is an ad-free app and is also free to download. However, if you want extra features like OCR and Cloud Storage, then you will have to buy the premium version of the app called Genius Scan+. Here’s a tip from our side – Before you start scanning your images in Genius Scan, make sure that the image quality is set to highest in Menu > General > Image Quality, then select Highest from the menu.
Key features: Easy to navigate UI, the responsiveness of the app.
Price: Free to use, OCR and unlimited cloud service storage requires a one-time fee of $5
6. Google Drive
This can come up as a surprise, but yes, you can scan images and documents and convert them into PDF files using the Google Drive application on your android phone. Open the Google Drive app on your phone, tap on the plus icon, and then choose the ‘Scan’ option. Smart edge detection can be found here as well, with a couple of color filters like B&W. The app does not offer advanced features such as OCR or a batch scanning mode, and you cannot scan existing images on your phone.
Google Drive’s scanning is a quick way to scan your documents and upload them to Google Drive, and the Google Ecosystem makes sharing of files very easy. If you are looking for quick, error-free scans and do not require extra features like OCR or batch mode, then the Drive app can get your work down.
Key features: Pre-installed on your phone, link-based file sharing using Google Drive.
Best Android Scanner Apps for Photos
Scanning is not always about documents or books, and one may need to create a digital copy of their old photos, business card, or a regular piece of paper. Here are the best Photo Scanning apps for Android
PhotoMyne is one of the best ways to convert your physical photos into a digital copy by simply using your smartphone. The application comes with great algorithms to enhance the colors of your scanned image, and it can also colorize Black and White images to an extent. You can create different albums, sort them according to date, and scan existing photos on your device. The UI of the app is neat with a material design.
PhotoMyne can also store your scanned images on the cloud with its premium version, after which your photos can be accessed from any other smartphone or a computer. Sometimes PhotoMyne may not install on certain mobile devices. In such cases, you can manually download the APK from here and install it on your Android phone.
Key features: Amazing color processing, Minimal yet Material UI
Price: Free, cloud storage can be purchased for $13.50, valid for two years.
2. PhotoScan by Google
PhotoScan is a one-stop solution to scan your photos, as it comes with powerful glare correction tools with Google’s software prowess. Open the application, click a picture, and align your phone over the four dots shown on your screen. This allows the app to understand the light glares in the picture, and it combines all these images by software processing to a high-quality scan.
PhotoScan is free to use and can be downloaded directly from the Google Play Store. The glare correction here is very superior and hard to compete with.
Key features: Anti-glare images
Best Barcode Scanner Apps and QR Code Scanner apps for Android
QR Codes are a quick and easy way to share data and links, and hence we find them at various public places nowadays. Here are the best QR Code Scanner apps for Android, along with some bonus Bar Code Scanner apps as well.
1. QR Easy Scanner
This app by QR Easy is a lightweight app with a size of just 2MB. You can scan QR Codes and Barcodes directly from the app or even select an image on your phone with the QR Code or Barcode. The app can also generate QR Codes for a website, store contact info, phone numbers, email address, etc. and store the QR Code on your device,
QR Easy’s scanner is free to use and comes with no advertisements. It can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.
2. QR Code and Barcode Scanner by QR SCAN Team
QR Code and Barcode scanner is a good option to scan QR Codes and Barcodes quickly. The app comes with an option to change the accent colors so that you can match the app with the theme of your device. It also lets you generate QR Codes for website URLs, contacts, email addresses, location coordinates, and more. The app also saves a history of all the codes you scan and stores it locally on your device.
QR SCAN Team’s scanner is free to download on the Google Play Store and does not feature any advertisements in it.
3. Google Lens
You can also use Google Lens to scan QR Codes and Barcodes on your smartphone. With the latest updates, Google Lens is integrated into the Google Assistant, which is available on almost every Android device, so you don’t have to download it separately.
All you have to do is to launch your Google Assistant on your phone and tap on the Lens icon. Alternately, you can also directly open the Google Lens app. Now place your camera in front of the QR Code or Barcode and tap on the screen where the code is highlighted. Google Lens will now show a popup with the results for that code.
4. Look for a system app on your device
If you are using an Android smartphone that comes with a skinned version of Android, like MIUI on Xiaomi, Realme UI on Realme, Origin OS/Funtouch OS on Vivo devices, etc., then you can easily scan QR codes without any external app. These Android skins include a scanner application in the OS itself, where you can scan QR Codes without any issues, but sometimes Barcodes may not get scanned in these system scanners. It is a good alternative to use these system scanners if you have a compatible device.
But if you are using a phone that ships with stock Android, then using Google Lens or any other application from this list will be a better bet when it comes to accuracy and reliability.
Frequently Asked Questions about Scanner Apps for Android
Here are some frequently asked questions about the best scanner apps for Android
What Makes a Great Mobile Scanning and OCR App?
The ability to detect edges of any physical document with perspective correction makes for a good scanning app. When it comes to OCR, the accuracy depends on the algorithm used by the scanner. In our hands-on experience with the applications mentioned above, we feel that the OCR of Microsoft Lens is very accurate and reliable, followed by vFlat and CamScanner. These three apps offer OCR for free, but CamScanner’s inclusion of watermarks in the free version places it last in our recommendation list, as the other two don’t leave any watermarks in the scanned images.
What is the Best Scanner App for Android?
In our opinion, Microsoft Lens is the best scanner app for Android devices as it provides high-quality scanned images and can export in multiple file formats like JPG, PDF, Word, Powerpoint, etc. It also offers OCR functionality for free and does not leave any watermarks in the scanned images. The app gives you 5GB of free cloud storage, which is the highest amongst all the apps on this list. As it comes from a very recognized company, Microsoft Lens is the best reliable scanner app for Android.
Is It Safe to Scan Important Documents Using Scanning Apps?
When you are using scanning applications from reputed developers like Adobe Scan, Microsoft Lens, and Google Drive, you should be on the safer side of the spectrum as these apps come from renowned sources. We recommend you NOT to use applications from lesser-known developers when it comes to sensitive and important documents like financial records.
However, even the biggest tech giants can sometimes become a victim of malware, data breaches, or exploitation of loopholes that can compromise your documents’ safety. TechPP does not take responsibility for such incidents with their suggested applications.
What Is the Best QR Code Scanner for Android?
Google Lens is an outstanding QR Code Scanner, and the fact that it is already a part of your Android system makes it even better. If you want a dedicated scanner app, then QR Easy QR Code Scanner is the best solution as the app is very lightweight and offers all the required functionality of a QR Code Scanner.
What Are the Best OCR Apps for Scanning Receipts?
vFlat is the best OCR app for scanning receipts as it has the functionality to export scanned OCR data in a text file. The app is free to use and does not leave any impressions or watermarks in scanned OCR texts.
Which scanner Android app did you like the best? Let us know in the comments section below.