Readdle’s Scanner Pro software has received its biggest update in years. It now uses computer vision to turn your scanned images into raw text that you can use in other apps, with full-text search and more. On top of that, Readdle has switched Scanner Pro to a subscription model.

For those wondering, the optical character recognition (OCR) feature that turns your scans into searchable text runs directly on your iPhone or iPad without sending anything to the cloud. As for the freemium model, current Scanner Pro users will retain all of the features they’ve had before this change. Moreover, they will be able to keep those features for free forever. As a bonus, current users will also get all the new features from today’s update free of charge.

“This update marks the start of the new journey for Scanner Pro and its users,” Readdle told me via email. “It’s time to apply the knowledge and experience we’ve acquired building other our products (Spark, PDF Expert, Documents) to take Scanner Pro and the entire document scanning category to a new level”.

Here are the highlights of this update:

  • Modern new design: We’ve redesigned the entire experience to make scanning and organizing papers easier and faster.
  • Turn scans into text with Text Vision: The pain of working with scans is that you can’t select and copy text. With Text Vision, Scanner Pro automatically recognizes the text of all your scans, so you can select, copy, and export it to other apps. Text Vision is powered by the new neural network-based on-device OCR.
  • Search through the text of your scans: Search in the content of your scans, not just their titles. Scanner Pro now automatically turns all your scans into searchable PDFs.
  • New business model: Scanner Pro becomes a free app with an optional premium upgrade.

As mentioned, the app has become a freemium product with advanced features requiring a subscription. Without a subscription, you can scan documents, share them with a Scanner Pro watermark and sync your scans between devices with iCloud.

An optional $20 per year subscription gets you watermark-free scans, on-device OCR in 26 languages, full-text search and password protection both in Scanner Pro and in shared PDFs, as well as automatic upload to cloud and workflows.

Following its inception back in 2009, Scanner Pro has managed to create a whole category of digitizing paper with mobile. It’s been downloaded more than nine million times so far.

For further information, check out Readdle’s blog post. You can also read a letter from Readdle co-founder Alex Tyagulsky on Scanner Pro’s bigger journey.