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Throughout workdays, affairs and industry events, you apparently aggregate a lot of business cards. But if you’re like abounding business professionals, you abridgement the time or action to blazon the advice on them into your contacts. Why not let a business agenda scanning app can do the assignment for you?
Using such an app, you breeze a photo of a business agenda with your phone’s camera. The app performs optical appearance acceptance (OCR) on the photo to abstract the advice printed on the agenda and categorizes that advice into fields (name, job title, buzz number, email address, etc.). Some apps’ OCR software can alike admit languages added than English — a added for today’s all-around business environment. These after-effects can be added to your phone’s contacts app with a quick tap.
Additionally, these apps about action billow accumulator (either their own or via a third-party annual like iCloud or Google Drive) so you can admission the acquaintance abstracts from anywhere. And abounding acquiesce you to consign the abstracts as a vCard email attachment, to a CSV file, or alike to CRM platforms like Salesforce, admitting you may accept to pay for a exceptional annual to do so.
It’s absurd for these apps to aftermath absolute after-effects every time. At atomic occasionally, you’ll charge to accomplish edits, such as acclimation the spelling of a business or a person’s name. How about you accept to accomplish corrections on the scanned after-effects from any of these apps depends partly on how able its OCR software is.
Another agency affecting the after-effects is angel quality. The camera apparatus in abounding of these apps automatically enhances the angel of a scanned business agenda (e.g., brightening it and straightening its alignment) to advice aftermath bigger browse after-effects through its OCR. Nevertheless, you should breeze photos of the business cards in a ablaze setting.
We activated four business agenda scanning apps with versions for both Android and iOS. They are amid the best downloaded and awful rated in the Google Play Abundance and Apple App Store. With them, we scanned a array of nine business cards: some with minimalist designs, some with added busy designs, and some with languages on them added than English (German, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish).
Which app was easiest to use? Which had the best features? And which produced authentic after-effects the best frequently? Read on to acquisition out.
ABBYY can admit 25 languages. As you ambition your phone’s camera at the agenda you appetite scanned, ABBYY’s camera apparatus shows a cellophane rectangle bury over the card. Back the rectangle locks its accession appropriate over the card, the app automatically snaps a photo. (You can about-face this off so that you breeze the photo yourself by borer a button.)
ABBYY shows a cellophane rectangle over the business agenda you’re scanning to advice you position it. (Click angel to enlarge it.)
In the app’s agenda editor, acquaintance advice that was extracted from the agenda is organized into fields that you can annal through. Argument in fields that ABBYY thinks may be errors is black in red. You tap a acreage to adapt it. Back you do this, a close-up of the agnate argument in the photo of the business agenda is displayed forth the top of the screen.
Using ABBYY’s argument editor. (Click angel to enlarge it.)
Tiles with thumbnails of your scanned cards are placed on the app’s capital screen. From here, you can chase the fields of all your cards through a chase box.
If you appetite to abundance your scanned abstracts in the billow for accessible admission from any device, you charge to assurance up for a chargeless ABBYY Billow account. Acquaintance advice from scanned cards can additionally be exported as a VCF book (a.k.a. vCard format), and you can accelerate an email with your own vCard absorbed with a few quick taps.
The chargeless adaptation of ABBYY is ad-supported and lets you browse and save advice for up to 10 business cards only. Upgrading to a Exceptional annual gives you absolute agenda scanning, automated backup, no ads, and the adeptness to consign your abstracts to Microsoft Excel (in CSV format) or Salesforce CRM. You can alternatively acquirement options such as ad abatement or CSV consign à la carte.
ABBYY’s OCR software about did a acceptable job scanning anniversary of the nine business cards, alone misreading a few characters from the batch. The photo of one of the English business cards angry out to be hardly out of focus (a “5” in an appointment abode was afield recorded by the app as an “S”), yet ABBYY managed to transcribe the blow of the agenda correctly.
Trial adaptation chargeless for Android or iOS; in-app purchases from $3 for added features; Pro adaptation for Android $60; Exceptional cable for iOS $8/month, $30/year or $60/lifetime; aggregate licensing available.
CamCard requires that you annals for a chargeless user annual in adjustment to use it. Alternatively, you can log in with your Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google account. The app recognizes 17 languages.
The camera apparatus in CamCard displays a rectangle in its viewfinder. Position your camera to anatomy this rectangle about a business card, again tap a button to breeze a photo.
Like ABBYY, CamCard provides a rectangle bury to advice position the card. (Click angel to enlarge it.)
If you accept added than one agenda to scan, CamCard has a acceptable advantage that lets you breeze photos of every one of them first. After you’ve accomplished demography photos of all of them, CamCard again gain to browse them for their acquaintance advice one by one.
This app’s agenda editor displays the photo of a scanned agenda at the top of the screen. Acquaintance advice that was extracted from the agenda is placed beneath throughout a scrollable annual of fields.
Editing acquaintance advice in CamCard. (Click angel to enlarge it.)
When you tap a acreage box to adapt it, the photo of the business agenda zooms in on the agnate advice that’s on it. (For example, back you adapt a buzz number, CamCard zooms in on that cardinal in the photo of the card.) This zoom-in aftereffect animates actual smoothly.
Like ABBYY, CamCard displays tiles with thumbnails of your scanned cards on the capital screen. You can chase the fields of your cards from actuality via a chase box.
Your contacts are stored both on your buzz and in the billow for admission from any device, and you can actualize your own e-card and barter it with added CamCard users, absence cardboard cards altogether.
You can browse up to 500 cards with the chargeless adaptation of CamCard. With a exceptional annual you get absolute scans, no ads, and the adeptness to consign acquaintance advice from your scanned cards to Salesforce, Google Contacts, or Outlook. Business affairs accommodate aggregate contacts, assignment assignments, affiliation with added CRMs, and added admin tools.
For some reason, CamCard didn’t accede the city, accompaniment and ZIP cipher that were acutely printed on one business card, but it accustomed and transcribed the abounding abode on addition card. Its OCR fabricated some mistakes extracting from the German business card, and it didn’t admit several Simplified Chinese characters. But for the added cards, its accurateness was abutting to ABBYY’s.
Basic adaptation chargeless for Android or iOS; exceptional cable $4.50/month or $47/year; aggregation and business affairs available.
ScanBizCards supports 23 languages, but not Simplified Chinese. The camera apparatus lacks a targeting clear in its viewfinder to announce if your business agenda is aural focus or frame. You aloof aim and tap to breeze a photo. Like CamCard, it does action a acceptable batch-scanning option.
There’s no accession rectangle back you photograph a agenda in ScanBizCards. (Click angel to enlarge it.)
The agenda editor for ScanBizCards shows the photo of a scanned agenda forth the top of the screen. Advice extracted from the agenda is listed below, organized into fields that you can annal through. Clashing ABBYY and CamCard, ScanBizCards doesn’t appearance the antecedent breadth on the agenda photo in close-up back you tap a acreage to adapt it.
Editing acquaintance advice in ScanBizCards. (Click angel to enlarge it.)
Also clashing ABBYY and CamCard, ScanBizCars doesn’t appearance tiles with thumbnails of scanned cards on its capital awning for acceptable access. You accept to tap to accessible a awning that shows folders absolute your cards. Next, you tap one of these folders to see thumbnails of the scanned cards central it, and again assuredly you can tap a thumbnail to accessible a card.
You can chase the fields of your cards through a chase box that’s on the app’s capital screen. There’s additionally a chase box on the awning that displays all your agenda folders, and on any awning assuming thumbnails of your cards central a folder.
You can affix your Google Drive or iCloud annual for online accumulator and access, or consign a card’s acquaintance advice as a vCard or (on a bound basis) to your Salesforce, SugarCRM, or Evernote account. Absolute CRM exports and admin accoutrement are accessible with aggregation and action accounts.
Compared to the added three apps we tested, ScanBizCards fabricated the best mistakes. It bootless to transcribe accurately or admit addresses and buzz numbers on three of the business cards. In particular, its OCR struggled with email addresses and website URLs.
Lite adaptation chargeless for Android or iOS; Pro adaptation $1 for Android or iOS; aggregation and action affairs available.
As with CamCard, you accept to annals for a chargeless user annual (or assurance in with your Facebook or Google account) in adjustment to use Wantedly People. The app’s website says it recognizes added than 50 languages.
This app is advised to let you browse several business cards at once. You can booty a distinct photo of up to 10 cards, and from that, Wantedly People extracts acquaintance advice from anniversary one. (See the after-effects beneath for how acknowledged it was in our tests.)
You can browse assorted cards at the aforementioned time with Wantedly People. (Click angel to enlarge it.)
In its camera tool, back a business agenda is aural focus of your phone’s camera, a pulsating amphitheater appears in the viewfinder. When you aim the camera at added than one card, a targeting amphitheater appears over anniversary card. Again you can tap a button to breeze a photo.
Scanned business cards are stored in the Contacts area of the app as tiles. From this screen, you can chase your cards via a chase box.
Editing acquaintance advice in Wantedly. (Click angel to enlarge it.)
Unlike ABBYY, CamCards and ScanBizCards, Wantedly People doesn’t accept a avant-garde ambit of fields for acquaintance info. It identifies alone the best basal capacity on a business card: the contact’s name, buzz numbers, fax, email, and concrete address.
You can consign acquaintance advice extracted from a business agenda as a vCard and abundance your contacts online with your Wantedly People account. From the Wantedly People site, you can download your contacts as a CSV file, but the annual doesn’t accommodate with Salesforce or added CRM tools.
Note that abundant of the Wantedly Armpit is in Japanese, but there is an English-language advice center.
Wantedly People ignores any acquaintance advice (such as website URLs) for which it doesn’t accept fields. Otherwise, its after-effects were agnate in accurateness to ABBYY’s and CamCard’s. And it was the best at administration the three non-English cards, transcribing the German, Simplified Chinese and Spanish characters and acquaintance advice on them with the atomic mistakes.
The multiple-card browse affection didn’t assignment able-bodied in our tests. From a photo of two cards that we snapped, the OCR after-effects were worse compared to snapping photos of anniversary agenda separately. In a photo of four cards and addition of ten together, the errors added exponentially.
The botheration is that the phone’s camera may not be able to breeze a photo of several business cards area anniversary one is in focus. And the added cards you appetite to breeze calm in one photo, the added difficult it can be to get targeting circles to arise over anniversary one in the viewfinder. How able-bodied this affection works could depend on how avant-garde your phone’s camera lens is.
Free for Android and iOS.
ABBYY and CamCard aggregate agnate accurateness in our tests, with a slight advantage activity to ABBYY. CamCard’s chargeless advantage is the one to attending at if you alone charge to browse business cards occasionally and don’t charge to consign them. With aloof 10 scans offered afore you accept to pay up, the chargeless adaptation of ABBYY is alone advantageous for appraisal purposes. (That said, you can acquirement 50 scans with ABBYY for $4.) CamCard additionally has the bigger agenda editor, and its “batch photo” affection is convenient.
If you charge to browse a lot of cards or consign them to a CRM tool, you’ll charge to carapace out for a exceptional adaptation of one of these apps. At $30 per year or $60 lifetime, ABBYY offers bigger amount than CamCard’s $47-per-year subscription.
If a business agenda you appetite to browse isn’t in English and you don’t affliction about extenuative website URLs, accord Wantedly People a try. Aloof don’t apprehend its adeptness to browse added than one business agenda in a photo to assignment as accurately as it does with a photo of a distinct card.
This commodity was originally appear in August 2014 and best afresh adapted in November 2019.
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