How to Scan Documents With Smartphone: the Best Android Applications

How do I perform scans from my Android smartphone? There are a few easy-to-use applications for this purpose, many of them free of charge.

The advantage of a scanner-type application is that it allows you to share files that are much lighter than photos that are also very easy to take. It automatically converts the “photographed” document to PDF, and often adds a few handy features. You can adjust brightness and contrast, crop documents and then share them on social networks and messaging services, not to mention annotation options: there are usually many options.

How does it work?

The very principle of a scanner application on Android is quite simple: they take advantage of the quality of our mobile devices to take a picture of a document you want to scan. They then determine the edges so that they can isolate it from the bottom.

And finally, she will work on retouching the photo so that it looks like a scanned document. Thus, the white becomes perfectly white again, the black becomes perfectly black again, and the whole thing really looks like a scan as it used to be done before. The great strength of a scanner application on Android will therefore be its ability to detect the edges of the document in a photo, but also to efficiently transform it into a scanned page whether it is a question of retouching the colorimetry or even the angle.


The CamScanner application is one of the most popular tools in this little game. Very easy to use – the creation of an account is not mandatory -, it allows you to scan documents in colour or black and white to adjust the level of detail, to search documents by keywords and to share documents with contacts who can comment on them in annotations. To make a scan, simply click on the pictogram representing a camera and let yourself be guided. If you use the application regularly, it is better to download the (paid) license, which will allow you to remove ads and watermarks on the documents.


Alternatively, ScanBot offers more or less the same service… but with a slightly more colourful and eye-friendly interface that you might like a little more.

In fact, it is one of the most popular scanning services on mobile phones ScanBot is particularly appealing because of the filters it offers to apply to your documents and the ease of use of the option to add a few notes.

Office Lens

For professionals, the Office Lens application promises to scan receipts and other organizational charts more efficiently, and its compatibility with OneNote is a significant plus.

In particular, the application offers to automatically save the information on business cards to make it easier to add a contact on your smartphone.

Adobe Scan

Just as focused on productivity as Office Lens, Adobe Scan is extremely efficient and accurate and offers similar options. Scanning a multi-page document is just a few clicks away.

The name makes it clear: the application is part of the Adobe universe and therefore takes advantage of an Adobe Document Cloud link to find your documents easily in your workspace.

Things to remember

Finally, a little reminder of what’s going on. Here’s how a scanner application on Android will work:

  • Taking a photo of a document
  • Detect the edges of the targeted document
  • Revise the orientation to make it flat again.
  • Touch up the colorimetry to get the “scanner” effect back.
  • Save as PDF or image for sharing
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