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Developer: Pierre Liebenberg
Price: Free
Size: 221 MB
Version: 2021.1.0
Platform: iPhone & iPad

Scan Thing

For every snap you casually take on your iPhone camera, there’s a ream of complex data crunching going on in the background. The very depth data that powers your Portrait shots is now enabling a new breed of apps.

While the likes of Scanner Pro have long been able to lock onto and digitise documents, apps such as ClipDrop and now Scan Thing drag 3D objects into the mix.

The interface is suitably point and shoot

It’s as simple as pointing your phone’s camera at an object and taking a snap. The app will then seamlessly clip out the object and enable you to save it and share it as a PNG file.

The app also allows you to pull in normal photos from your Photo roll, at which point it examines the depth data and isolates the subject after the fact.

Subjects tend to be very well ‘cut out’

Choose the text option and drag to resize the viewfinder, and you’ll be able to use this method to extract text. Just hit the Copy prompt to save it to your clipboard, and you can quickly paste it in anywhere.

You get 12 free scans as standard, and you remove this limit with a one off IAP. At the time of writing the cost is just $6/£6 as part of an introductory offer, but it’s soon due to rise to $20/£20. but This is in comparison to rival effort ClipDrop, which requires a monthly $10/£10 subscription.

Scanning and copying text works well

What’s more, unlike ClipDrop, Scan Thing includes the ability to extract objects from your existing Camera Roll, as well as a separate Scanner Pro-style document scanning function. While we’d like the latter to be better integrated within the UI, it is useful for being able to auto-frame and extract the text from documents.

In one instance, we were impressed that the app was able to recognize and incorporate a four digit number hand-scrawled at a 90 degree angle to the printed text.

The document scanner is welcome, but feels separate

However, while Scan Thing is cheaper, more flexible, and better suited to mobile use, it’s not as powerful a productivity tool as ClipDrop. Unlike its rival app, there’s no related desktop client to instantly send your scanned objects to, so you can’t incorporate scans into your workflow so easily. Sharing via AirDrop and the like works, but nowhere near as seamlessly, and the default image sizing seems a little off.

There are better and more productive specialist tools for those who want to go deeper with their scans. But for those looking for an all-in one mobile-focused scanning tool, Scan Thing is a strong choice.

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Scan Thing - capture real-life objects and text
A strong all-round scanning tool with a sprinkling of AR magic
The Good
  • Powerful text and image-clipping tools
  • Welcome inclusion of a document scanner
  • Relatively cheap
The Bad
  • No desktop client limits usefulness
  • Document scanner not very well integrated
4.0Overall Score

Hi! Thanks for reading. This post looks better in our award-winning app, Tips & Tricks for iPhone.

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