ScanBizCards has such a long list of features (we like to say “scanning is only the beginning!“)  that it’s not easy to discover them all! So here is the complete up-to-date list. Truth is we feel ScanBizCards is much (much) more than a “card scanner”. Other card scanning apps cover just 2 or 3 of the 27 features below: scanning a card image for text, then adding to the address book. This is it – most scanning apps actually discard the card image once it has been added to the address book. We could not disagree more. Make sure to read about the Web Sync feature at the end of the list: it dramatically expands the ways you can manage and use your cards and extends your access to them beyond your iPhone.

Table of Contents:
1. Scanning
2. Importing Photos
3. NEW: Double-sided Cards
4. Cropping
5. Automatic Text Orientation Detection
6. Editing Side-by-Side With Image Preview
7. Custom Fields
8. Notes
9. Adding to the Address Book
10. Adding to the Address Book Optional!
11. Address Book Groups
12. Touch & Go – Active Canvas
13. Quick Intro Email
14. Calendar Reminders
15. Send To Friend
16. Connect on LinkedIn
17. Digital Rolodex
18. 3D Flow Cover View
19. Adjusting Thumbnails
20. Custom Folders
21. Search
22. Export to Excel
23. Web Sync
24. Putting Cards on the Map
25. Skype integration: call contacts from your iPad or iPod Touch!
26. Evernote integration
27. NEW: Import from Clipboard (email signatures)

1. Scanning It all starts with a photo of a business card, this is the input for everything else the application does. Taking good images is very important for getting good results and it’s all up to you! Please read our photo taking tips for guidance. Note: the iPhone 3G model is not suitable for taking pictures of business cards unless equipped with the Griffin Clarifi close-up lens.

2. Importing Photos ScanBizCards lets you chose business cards photos from your iPhone camera roll or any photo album. This means you may take photos with your iPhone before running the app if you wish, or with any camera as long as you get the photos synced-up with a photo album on your iPhone. Some users find it convenient to capture business card images using a flat bed scanner, which also yields sharp and clear images. Note: importing images is a great way to use ScanBizCards on a device without a camera such as the iPod/iPad but also when using an iPhone 3G not equipped with a close-up lens.

3. Double-Sided Cards Support
ScanBizCards is the only iPhone biz card scanner with support for double-sided cards! When you take a new photo or import from a photo album, just touch “Snap/Import Other Side” to add a 2nd side. You can then scan both sides, or just one side. The cards list view shows double-sided cards as animated images showing each side in alternation. Oftentimes you may want to retain the back side visually but not necessarily scan it – your choice. You will find an example of a double-sided card in the Sample Images folder. Suggestion: if there is no back side, how about taking a picture of the person as the back side (just don’t scan it!) ?

4. Cropping Before you start the scanning, you have the option to select only a subset of the image to be scanned. It is entirely optional but presents the possible advantage of eliminating possible spurious characters the scanning might mistake for letters within the image background, and it reduces scanning time. Cropping also sets the looks of the image thumbnail, an aesthetical consideration. Note: adjusting the thumbnail can also be done later even if no cropping was applied before scanning.

5. Automatic Text Orientation Detection Scanning must know what is the text orientation in the photo. When you take photos from within the application and follow the on-screen guidance indicating the “Up” direction we know what the text orientation because you told us! On the other hand when importing images it is imperative to find out what the text orientation is – we make it easy by automatically analyzing the image to make that determination. As of the time of this post, ScanBizCards is the only application incorporating this ability. Note: in about 5% of imported images we may get the text orientation wrong. You can tell this occurred if the text is not shown upright at the end of the scan. If so, just use the manual rotate button provided on the bottom toolbar to adjust the orientation then rescan.

6. Editing Side-by-Side With Image Preview Let’s face it: OCR is far from perfect and there will be cards when corrections are required. We make as easy as possible by presenting a list of the text results at the end of the scan along with a reduced size preview of the photo on the top half. Touch an item to edit and we zoom-in on the area of the card where that item was found. Some would say that this super convenient editing scheme makes it worthwhile to snap a photo of your business cards even if you then want to type everything in manually! Certainly beats having to carry the physical cards around – when you have a moment to process a few cards, just pull out your iPhone and fire up ScanBizCards!

7. Custom Fields You may add any number of custom fields to a card right after scanning it or any time later. For example, a contact’s company name may not appear on the card but you know what it is a wish to add it. Note: don’t tell anyone but on rare occasions there might be a job title, phone number etc on the card yet ScanBizCards missed it – a perfect occasion to add a custom field.

8. Notes A custom field of special interest is notes. You can add or edit notes quickly and easily to cards, before or after scanning. You can also add text recognized on a card to notes: to do that, in the card text details view you see after scanning, touch a text item then its type and chose “Add To Notes”. Note: cards with notes show a yellow post-it icon in the cards list view. Touching that icon is a shortcut to open the notes to view/edit without needing to open the card itself.

9. Adding to the Address Book Certainly a popular thing to do with a scanned card even if by far not the only thing you can do … just click “Add To Address Book” after reviewing and possibly editing the text results. This will display the suggested new address book entry, which you can still edit before confirming. Note: the new contacts added by ScanBizCards to the iPhone address book will sync-up with iCal on your Mac or Outlook on your PC the next time you sync your iPhone.

10. Adding to the Address Book Optional! You’d be surprised how many users have praised us for NOT forcing them to add a scanned card to the address book (unlike other scanning app where that is mandatory and imposed). Indeed we don’t think every card you scan necessarily belongs into your address book. All of our features are available regardless of whether a card has been added to the address book or not.

11. Address Book Groups ScanBizCards supports assigning new contacts to iPhone address book groups – which will map to Outlook contact groups or Mac address book categories. Note: ScanBizCards lets you create new groups if needed – a feature oddly missing from the iPhone address book.

12. Touch & Go – Active Canvas ScanBizCards turns a card into an “Active Canvas”! Actionable items such as phone numbers, email addresses and URLs are marked in colors on the card and touching an item acts on it to place a call, send an SMS message, compose an email or browse a web site. This interface is particularly invaluable for cards you just want to use when needed without adding to the address book. Note: it can be hard to touch small text items sometimes. No worries, we also show large shortcut icons on the side of the card view.

13. Quick Intro Email You just scanned a new card and added that new contact into your address book but how about making sure that new contact likewise has YOUR contact information? ScanBizCards prompts you after every scan where an email address was found to optionally send a quick “hello” to that contact with your own VCard attached.

14. Calendar Reminders So you just met someone and exchanged cards. Doesn’t it fall to reason that you might have a follow-up action item with that contact such as calling him to explore a business proposal or sending him a product sample when you are back at the office? ScanBizCards lets you create a follow-up reminder right from within the app, where all that contact’s information is entered in the reminder’s notes so that when the time comes you just have to touch that person’s phone number or email within the calendar reminder itself! ScanBizCards reminders can be synced automatically to the iPhone calendar or even Outlook/iCal on your desktop and Google Calendar on the web. There is lots to familiarize yourself with for this feature, we highly recommend watching this video tutorial. Note: this feature can actually be used regardless of scanned cards with ANY contact in your address book. Touch My Reminders, then tap the “+” icon on the top right of the calendar view, chose any contact from your address book and you’ve got yourself a calendar reminder with all of that contact info right in the notes of that reminder.

15. Send To Friend One touch and you can forward the new contact you just scanned to a colleague. The information is sent in three formats: text, image and VCard. Note: this feature has another usefulness, for sending a card from within ScanBizCards to yourself, for the purpose of storing it elsewhere or even just within the iPhone camera roll.

16. Connect on LinkedIn An absolute favorite with everyone who is using LinkedIn! One touch and you can fire up an invitation to the new contact to join your LinkedIn network – without leaving the app. We even show a little LinkedIn icon on that card to remind you which contact and touching that icon will even show you the status of that invitation … you’ve got to love it. Note: we think you can get a card, scan it, add to the address book, send a quick intro and send a LinkedIn invite in under 90 seconds … if you like to show off, try it while you are still chatting with the new contact then ask him what’s taking him so long to accept your invite.

17. Digital Rolodex Every card you scan is saved with the application. Cards are displayed is a scrollable list with a thumbnail of the photo, contact name, company name, date photo was taken. Status icons are shown when applicable to indicate the following attributes:

  • Card added to the address book
  • Card added to calendar
  • LinkedIn invite sent
  • Card includes notes
  • These are “active” icons – touch the notes icon to view/edit notes, touch the calendar icon to view/edit the calendar reminder etc.

    18. 3D Flow Cover View Just tilt your phone sideways and you can flip through your cards in a 3D view with reflections – you’ve got to see that! Check-out the top section of the last screenshot on the App Store.

    19. Adjusting Thumbnails We know aesthetics matter … Card images often include background material you really don’t need to see. Sometimes you also want to view only a portion of the card itself. You can set the looks of the thumbnail you see in cards list view – 2D and 3D – to any portion of the original image. To do this, under the cards list view (for example when touching My Cards then opening Recent Cards) touch the “Edit” button on the top right, select the image then touch “Adjust Thumb” on the bottom toolbar. Tip: an optional setting lets you get to that function more easily by just touching the card thumb in cards list view. Touch any help button within the app, then “Settings” on the top right, set “Touch Thumb to Adjust” to ON.

    20. Custom Folders ScanBizCards lets you store cards in related groups such as investors, friend or customers, based on events where you got the cards – or any category you’d like. Just touch the “+” sign in the folders list view, give it a name and start saving cards in it.

    21. Search Having in excess of 1,000 cards, this is the feature I use most often. Just type any text string and it returns the list of all cards containing this text in any field (including notes). Note: the search box is found on the top of the folders list view which you get when you touch My Cards from the main screen.

    22. Export to Excel From the cards list view, for example when you touch My Cards then Recent Cards, touch the actions button on the bottom left, select Export to Excel, chose some/all cards then confirm. This will attach an Excel CSV file to an email you can address to yourself. This is of particular interest to CRM users as the way to export contacts into their CRM backend. Exporting to Excel is of great usefulness for many other tasks around contacts, such as building a email blast list and more.

    23. Web Sync Never lose a card again! ScanBizCards includes a service to automatically upload new cards or edits to existing cards to a web-based personal account. But this is just the tip of the iceberg … Web Sync includes so much more:

  • Backup: had to replace your iPhone? Just sign-in to your Web Sync account and all your cards are downloaded back into the app
  • Keep multiple devices in sync: just sign-in to a same Web Sync account on both devices and the become “paired”, always showing the same set of cards. This is a great way to keep an iPad synced with an iPhone running ScanBizCards, so you can view/manage your scanned contacts from the iPad as well.
  • Web-based cards management: access your cards from any browser at http://my.scanbizcards.com. Even better: you can edit your cards on the web and changes flow back to your iPhone! A convenient way indeed to manage your cards on a larger screen.
  • The web-based interface is really a full-blown application in its own right and justifies having its own list of features … or how about taking a peek right now? Click http://my.scanbizcards.com/demo and see for yourself. Make sure to click MapIt on the top left! Click any card to see the card edit screen. Note: to learn more about the Web Sync service, please consult the help pages within the application. To get started, touch “Web Sync Settings” on the main screen.

    24. Putting Cards on the Map Using the web-based interface, you can view all cards with an address on a map of the World. Yes, we admit it, it’s a gimmick – but we love it. Take a look: click http://my.scanbizcards.com/demo and then click MapIt on the top left. We also map cards one-by-one: click a card on the web to open the card details view, then click “Map This Card” on the top right. This will take you right to that address on a Google map. Click the pin, then “Street View” and it’s almost like you were standing in front of the building!

    25. Skype integration – call contacts from your iPad or iPod Touch! Previously, the ScanBizCards “Touch & Go” interface (feature #11) worked only with emails and URLs on the iPad and iPod Touch. Version 2.74 changes all that – you can now touch a phone number to call or SMS and ScanBizCards will pass the request along to Skype to make the call or send a text message. Just install Skype and you are good to go!

    26. Evernote integration Starting with V2.74, ScanBizCards is fully integrated with Evernote: touch My Cards and look for a large Evernote button at the end of the list of folders. Touching that button will enable you to provide your Evernote credential, then search for photos of business cards in your Evernote account. Import the image(s) you want, scan them then optionally store the contact info scanned by ScanBizCards back into the Evernote record. But that’s not all: you can also export any scanned card into Evernote, not just those imported from Evernote.

    27. Import from Clipboard (email signatures) When you receive a person’s contact information as text (and don’t need to scan anything), it can still be a bit of a hassle to add all the info as a new contact. We have a button for that!

  • Copy the text into the iPhone clipboard.
  • Start ScanBizCards, touch the “Import from Clipboard” button.
  • Review/edit text items and associated type, touch “Add To Address Book” when ready.
  • This feature is particularly useful with signatures found at the end of emails! Note: if the contact’s email address is not in the signature, we recommend opening that email again after adding the signature to the address book and chose the option to merge with that existing entry.