As great as the iPhone’s camera is for taking pictures of people, landscapes, and cappuccino milk foam, it’s also turned the iPhone into the most obvious choice for short to medium-length document scanning.
I use ScanBot almost every day to capture everything from receipts to miscellaneous paper mail items. I keep it on a black and white filter setting, and the scan quality is incredible. The resolution of text is right on par with what I get from a desktop ScanSnap scanner, and when I OCR it later, the text layer is perfect 99.9% of the time.
The other day, I even used ScanBot to scan an 80-page section of a textbook that I didn’t want to butcher for my ScanSnap. ScanBot recognizes page borders automatically and nearly instantly, making multi-page scanning a breeze. It’s amazing.
Just recently I discovered TextGrabber via David Sparks. TextGrabber does just what the name says: you simply take a picture of something containing text, then select the portion of the photo containing the part you want. TextGrabber OCRs just that cropped region, allowing you to grab the text right away.
For a lot of things, this is way more efficient than storing a photo or PDF that would have to be titled with keywords, saved, and/or OCR’ed later. Things like business card information, serial numbers, a block of text from a newspaper article, etc. TextGrabber is made by ABBYY, who makes, in my experience, the most accurate OCR software in the world. DEVONthink Pro Office ships with ABBYY’s OCR technology, and it’s by far the most thorough I’ve ever used.