Take a step towards a paperless office with Snap2PDF

Snap2PDF is a new iOS app from Penpower Technology. It’s available now as a $2.99 Universal download from the App Store.

Snap2PDF is an app that aims to make scanning and filing documents easy. Using their iOS device’s camera, users can “scan” documents, name them, attach descriptions and keywords and then file them in specific categories, enabling easy retrieval later. For those making a strong effort to “go paperless,” the core functionality of this tool will be particularly helpful, but there’s a number of additional features that are particularly noteworthy, too.

Rather than simply taking a snapshot of the document and using that to file away, Snap2PDF features several image processing features. It’s possible to correct skewed shots and crop images, and also to use gamma correction to reduce the number of colors in the image, making the text stand out more. There’s also an optical character recognition (OCR) facility to automatically pick out blocks of text in the image and copy this into an email or SMS message, or simply into the iOS device’s clipboard. The accuracy of the text recognition is at times a little questionable (see screenshot), with the app seemingly struggling rather more with serif fonts than sans serif ones, but for the most part it was close enough to be able to use with a few edits.

The app supports multi-page documents as well as single scans, and additional pages may be added to documents at a later date. Documents may also be exported to PDF and exported to other apps on the device. They may also be uploaded to a user’s Dropbox account. The app supports multiple Dropbox accounts but requires the user to input their password every time they wish to upload a file, which is a little inconvenient — though batch uploads with a single login are possible. It also does not provide a choice of where to upload the files, instead dumping all uploads in a created Snap2PDF folder off the user’s root folder.

As with many iOS productivity apps, there is a heavy reliance on iconography in the interface, and unfortunately as usual some of these icons are not as clear as they perhaps could be. The ability to upload documents to Dropbox is hidden behind an icon with a hammer on it for some inexplicable reason, and this is a completely different place to where the “attach to email” and “save as PDF” functions are located. Fortunately, a comprehensive help file within the app provides full instructions and definitions of all the icons, meaning it won’t take long for the user to learn what each of the symbols means. There are relatively few functions in the app as a whole, so it’s not a huge issue, but it may prove daunting to new users who find themselves easily bewildered by unfamiliar, unclear icons.

All in all, Snap2PDF is an excellent solution for those seeking to either go paperless or simply keep their affairs in order. It is simple to use — interface issues aside — and flexible enough to fit into most workflows. Its native iPad support also puts it a step ahead of rival title ABBYY FineScanner, which is an iPhone-only app. A few tweaks here and there would make it a truly essential download for anyone trying to stay organized amid the mountains of paper we seem to come into possession of on a daily basis.

Snap2PDF is currently ranked at No. 21 in Top Paid Business Apps, No. 33 in Top Grossing Business Apps, No. 70 in Top Paid iPad Business Apps and No. 160 in Top Grossing iPad Business Apps. Follow its progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.