Card scanners have been around for quite some time and contrary to popular belief can be very useful. But to be honest, I gave up on card readers a long time ago due to bad experiences with clumsy apps.
If done right, however, card scanning software can make adding contact information and keeping track of business contact data a breeze. So naturally, I jumped at the chance when I was asked to check out ABBYY’s Business Card Reader for iOS…
I’ll start off by saying that I really like the user interface. It’s very clean and straight forward. The main menu has 3 buttons – Camera, Cardholder, and Options. The Camera function is a no brainer. This is where you capture a snapshot of your business card.
I’m using an iPhone 4, so as long as there was good lighting available, pictures came out crisp and clear. Once a business card is captured, it takes ABBYY about 10 seconds to process all of the information.
From here you can choose to add the data directly to your iPhone’s contact list, or you can just store the card in ABBYY’s Cardholder. This will allow you to carry several business cards around, without taking up wallet or pocket space.
You can also sort cards in the Cardholder by name, company, or job title. It even allows you to search for more information on a contact through social networking services like Facebook.
The Options button in the main menu leads you to the app’s settings, where you have a few customization options. You can enable the camera’s flash and even tweak what kind of information you want ABBYY to pull off of scanned business cards.
I personally narrowed it down to just read the name, company name, phone number, and email address. It seemed like the only time ABBYY had accuracy problems was with the physical address field, which I didn’t really need anyways.
Overall, I was extremely impressed by this particular business card scanner. It was easy to use and extremely accurate. If you’ve been interested in checking out a card scanner, try ABBYY. It’s available in the App Store as a limited free version or $4.99 for the full app.
Have you tried ABBYY? Do you use a different app to scan business cards?