ScanBizCards V3.04 has just been approved by Apple! Quickly this time too, in just two days. We spent 2.5 months on that update so there are plenty of improvement even if many are to the unseen hand of accuracy.

What’s New

Web-based scanning: we just added to the web the ability to crop/rotate & scan in 22 languages – which actually makes Web Sync a complete stand-alone desktop application. This means you can upload card images directly from your desktop, crop, rotate and scan them without involving your iPhone at all. In fact, the most accurate scanning is via a flatbed scanner at highest DPI, several cards at a time then upload the image multiple time and crop each time around a different card. To find the web-based scanning, click a card and look for a link to “Open the Image Editor” on the bottom left. Note that the web-based OCR is actually always ahead of the iPhone app, because updates there are in real-time – for example, this morning it was 2.5 months ahead of the iPhone app until it got updated … Coming soon: a function to print all these cards into a nice set of hard copies.

Salesforce.com: exporting directly to Salesforce.com is now possible. Contacts are created within Salesforce as a new lead so you’ll find them in the “New Leads” section of your Salesforce.com account. Right now exporting is one card at a time, at the end of scanning or by opening an existing card and touching the actions menu -> Export -> Saleforce. Coming soon: option to batch export cards to Salesforce.

Scanning Accuracy: the never-ending quest. This update has an incremental improvement in the image processing but a long list of specific fixes (for example correcting false ‘1’ to the intended ‘7’, open o’s into c, and many more). I hope you notice the improvements (let me know). We are not done (and never will be?). Coming soon: Michael Kolomenkin is almost done with a major rewrite of the image processing.

Android Update: we are almost ready to make Web Sync available for Android devices but if you own an Android device and would like to see your cards there too you can Beta test this now – email us at info@scanbizcards.com for details.

Tips of the Month

Tip #1: Disabling Orientation Detection
ScanBizCards includes a process to automatically detect text orientation. That’s great when importing photos taken outside of the app in all kinds of orientation, but if you take photos within the app and follow the on-screen guidance, you don’t really need that stage. To save the 1 or 2 seconds of orientation detection please disable it in the app’s settings. Important: if you do that, remember to always rotate the card manually before scanning if necessary – one example where that’s going to be needed is when you take a photo of a vertical business card: you’ll get largest text by snapping a photo of it oriented sideways (to fill the screen), ignoring our guidance, but then remember to rotate it back up.

Tip #2: Direct Export to Outlook
Having trouble syncing contacts into Outlook? Many users of the app are asking about this. The way our app works is by adding new contacts into the iPhone address book and from there we expect these contacts to make their way into your Outlook address book by way of whatever syncing mechanism you have in place, such as iTunes and a USB cable. The reality is that more and more iPhone users are “cutting the cord” and not syncing often or not at all. There is a simple solution: just use Web Sync then from any browser, click a card then Export as VCard, download and open. This will invoke Outlook or the Mac Address Book on your desktop and then you can just save that contact there.

New App: Contact2Excel

Since we are all obsessed with scanning contacts from business cards, we thought you might enjoy a mini-app to take some/all of your contacts for exporting to a CSV (comma-separated) file. Reasons that come to mind include simply having the security of an extra backup, sharing some contacts with a colleague or exporting contacts into a CRM application. One little extra feature: the app lets you sort your contacts by creation date – who can remember the last 5 contacts entered at a conference in a sea of thousands of exiting contacts?!

We swear it barely distracted us from ScanBizCards … more info about Contacts2Excel on iTunes

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Your continued support helps us break the record of being the “idiots” who spent the longest time enhancing a single iPhone app :-). Apple saves your last review so it only takes a minute to update a previous review for the current version. You know what to do! Please tap Help on the start page of the app, then “Rate This Version”.