Version 2.73 – both Lite and Premium – was approved yesterday evening. Our previous update was exactly one month ago on May 3 – a relative long hiatus between updates but for good reasons! We spent that time on two things: a new image preprocessing engine and (finally) a “web sync” feature to backup cards to the cloud. See below for more details.

New Features

  • New image preprocessing: we incorporated a brand new image pre-processing engine provided by a research team at the CMATER Research Center, Jadavpur University. This engine does a better job than our previous algorithm in terms of accuracy but also cuts the image processing time in half (!) and results in an overall reduction of our total scanning time by 30%. Many thanks to the CMATER team!
  • Web Sync: we feel this feature has been “long awaited”. Ever since launching ScanBizCards, we have gotten numerous unfortunate reports about the loss of cards following a variety of mishaps with iPhones lost or needing to be reinstalled. In theory syncing your iPhone with iTunes should save application data (for us that means cards) but the practice seems to be very different and more often than not, users just lost all their cards. Well, never again! As soon as you turn Web Sync on by establishing your personal web sync account, each card you scan and any associated scanned data or user edits get uploaded to the web for safekeeping. If your iPhone is offline, changes just accumulate and will flows to the web next time you start the application with network online. Conversely, should you ever need to restore your cards into a new phone, simply sign-in to the same Web Sync account and all your cards will be downloaded back into the fresh installation of ScanBizCards. But wait, there is more … the Web Sync service is not simply a dumb storage for cards, it comes with a full blown web-based card management interface – give it a try. Naturally, changes you make on the web flow back to your iPhone. We feel particularly excited about that feature. Here are additional details and use cases for the Web Sync service:
    • Moving cards from Lite to Premium: if you are a Lite user with cards accumulating in the app and don’t like the icon saying Lite, you can now move all cards from the Lite to Premium on the same device. Please talk to me if you already paid to upgrade the Lite and I may have a promo code to let you do it at no cost (US App Store only). The way to do that is:
      • Sign-up for web sync within the Premium app (to get the 2 weeks free)
      • Sign-in to web sync using that same account in the Lite app, let it upload all cards
      • Run the Premium app: all cards will now get downloaded from the web sync account
  • Enjoy a full-screen experience managing your cards, from any browser. Never mind that it’s web-backed and runs within a browser, it feel much like a desktop card management application. For example you may prefer to do some editing or makig notes into cards using a full-screen desktop experience. Better yet: have someone else do that editing for you (if you have an admin assistant)! Note: web changes flow back to the iPhone only when ScanBizCards starts at that time (unlike changes on the iPhone which are immediately uploaded).
  • Keep multiple devices in sync: you can keep a copy of ScanBizCards running on the iPad fully synchronized with your iPhone, or likewise have someone at the backoffice keeping his copy of ScanBizCards in sync with yours, or track your cards via the web interface, your choice.
  • A nice gimmick: we place every card you open on the web-based interface of a World map – click the MapIt button to view that map.

The web side of the Web Sync service is very much work in progress and is expected to get more functionality every week so please send in your comments!

Reviews

Several nice reviews of ScanBizCards have been posted recently, including: