CamScanner for Android update adds awesome B&W document mode

camscanner update - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

While my favorite mobile scanning app is the iOS-only Scanner Pro because it has a batch processing mode that no other app comes close to having, the fact that my phone is an Android device means that having an Android app that could do at least shorter documents would save me a lot of trouble. My gripes with CamScanner, which is perhaps the most used such app on Android, boils down to focus issues and some weird choices when it comes to processing modes. 

The focus issue is easy to solve, if you have that issue with your device at all: simply use the device’s built-in camera app. That removes the ability to take images in batches, but then again CamScanner can’t batch process images anywhere near as fast as Scanner Pro anyways. The scanning mode issue has been harder to fix, as it’s been a matter of how the app processes images. Until now, you’ve been forced to choose between high enhance mode and gray mode. The former enhances the images more strongly, but keeps colors, which can sometimes mean that wrinkles in the paper causes shadows that the app then enhances, creating colored sections on the scan. Gray mode on the other hand removes colors from the image – which is how most mobile scanning apps do it – but doesn’t really enhance that much, essentially resulting in a cropped grayscale photo.

I sent an email to the developer some days ago, explaining this issue with example scans, and got a message back that it had been forwarded to the people actually doing the development. I don’t know if that email had anything to do with it or if it was all a massive coincidence, but a couple of days later version 1.5 was released, and it now features a new B&W document mode. The mode is exactly what I was wishing for, as it’s essentially the high enhance mode without colors. The difference is most noticeable on crumpled paper, like the document I intentionally crumpled and scanned in the image at the top. The source image is the same in all three images, but the processing mode is gray mode, high enhance mode, and B&W document mode, respectively. You can easily see the difference between the latter two scans, where the wrinkles in the paper have turned into purple areas in the high enhance mode, whereas they’re gone in the B&W document scan.

To me, this is a huge difference. I’m going to be using CamScanner for loose documents that I can’t be bothered scanning “properly” with my DSLR, and a lot of times those documents have spent some time at the bottom of my bag or folded together in my pocket (I seriously can’t handle paper). On documents that aren’t perfect to begin with, this new mode is going to make a world of difference, and I have no problem using CamScanner for those types of documents now.

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Download: Google Play


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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.

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