While Windows Phone is still a nascent platform in terms of number of apps available as compared to iOS and Android, there are certain titles that define Microsoft’s mobile OS and have always been the source of envy for other users. One such title has always been Microsoft’s own Office Lens – a portable scanner that offers OCR facility for pretty much any text that you throw at it – and today, the software giant has made the app available for both iOS and Android users.
Office Lens is a scanning app that lets you look at any piece of text through the camera of your smartphone – from business cards to receipts and pretty much anything that you can imagine – and store that in selectable text format courtesy of the app’s own optical character recognition (OCR) system. These documents can then be stored in a number of formats, including Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, PDFs and the like. Office Lens also supports OneNote and OneDrive, allowing easy storage and access from any of your devices utilizing the cloud.
Like other good scanning apps, Office Lens also does cleanup when you “scan” a piece of paper using it. For instance, if you’ve scanned a business card placed on a table, the app will intelligently recognize the edges and remove everything except the content that matters. The great thing about Office Lens is that it carries Microsoft’s reliable name behind it, giving it an automatic edge over other similar tools.
It’s worth noting here that while Office Lens has officially debuted for both iOS and Android, the app isn’t as readily available for the latter. In fact, it hasn’t been released at the Google Play Store just yet. To try it out on Android, you need to visit the Office Lens Android Preview community on Google+ here and apply for becoming a tester. Then, you’ll be provided the instructions to obtain the APK for your device. Hence, it’s safe to say that Office Lens for Android is still a work in progress – more like a beta – and we’ll see a full launch sometime in the future.
So, will Office Lens be your portable scanner of choice going forward? Drop your opinions in the comments section below.
(Download: Office Lens for iPhone on the App Store)