Tag Archive: tripod


ScanBizCards V3.02 Update

Version 3.02 was released to the App Store World-wide tonight. It includes a long awaited overhaul of the application’s main page, a fix for a memory leak we have had forever (causing the app to  crash when scanning many cards in a row) and special handling to enable saving contacts directly into Exchange and MobileMe accounts. Last but not least: we are live on the Android Market!!!

What’s New

User Interface Overhaul: Episode I
No more Wrigley-green background with cute icons, we now have a more professional looking main application screen as well as a new Web Sync settings screen, courtesy of Jonathan Moldofsky from JGrant Design. We also took the opportunity to address one common usability issue: our app’s complexity and options make it sometimes hard to figure out what’s tyhe next step. For example, we don’t force the user to save a card to the address book – because oftentimes the user indeed doesn’t want to do that – but then it may confuse some users that at the end of scanning nothing is added to the address book unless you press “Add To Address Book”. Well, now we paint that button blue, to highlight it as a recommended next step – and do a similar coloring on other screens. We call is “Episode I” because we are not done redesigning the UI, there is more to come.

Memory Leak Solved
To most users a memory leak means simply a crash after using the app for a while. This has been a problem within the app for many month, causing for example to crash when scanning 16 cards consecutively on an iPhone 3GS. No more – we can now scan in excess of 75 cards in a same session on the iPhone 3GS and much more on the iPhone 4.

Saving Contacts Directly into Exchange and MobileMe
Users of Exchange and MobileMe often ran into trouble getting new contacts saved into the iPhone address book to sync with their external mail account. No more: we now list all foreign address books and all groups under them in the ScanBizCards group assignment function. I believe we are the only scanning app giving that level of control for groups.

Web Sync Improvements
Take a peek at your cards on http://www.scanbizcards.com/websync – we made several usability improvements: the search box is now on the cards view screen itself and so are the sort buttons. Now that search and sort were kicked out of the left bar, it enabled us to open up all menu groups – you may discover a feature you didn’t know existed! Note: If you don’t use Web Sync yet, say hello to our demo cards instead at www.scanbizcards.com/webdemo

ScanBizCards is LIVE on the Android Market!
As of last Sunday, February 21, it’s official: ScanBizCards is now running on thousands of Android phones. It wasn’t easy and it took over 5 months but our Android, C++ and Java expert Yuval Kohavi did it. If you have an Android device, give it a try, here is a link to the app on the Android Market. It still lacks many of the extended features of the iPhone version but we’ll try to close the gap soon.

Press

A very nice comprehensive review of ScanBizCards was posted by Crazy Mike on Friday, watch it below!



Other press events:

  • A fresh review by Derek Walter posted tonight on a new app review site TheAppPlanet.com, showing the new V3.02 UI.
  • ScanBizCards has been chosen as a finalist in the APPY Awards 2011 (check the Productivity category)!
  • Appolicious on ScanBizCards Lite
  • Sandira Calviac on ScanBizCards as an essential tool at conferences

Rating
We need your support reviewing the app – or re-reviewing the current version! These shortcuts take you directly to the appropriate App Store page:

ScanBizCards V3.00 Update

Version 3.00 was released to the App Store World-wide at noon today. This is a major update for us – hence the jump from V2.78 to V3.00 – and it took us 2 months to get it ready. The two main themes are:

  • International Support: we now scan cards in 22 languages, up from only one until now (English). This is long overdue and we hope it helps our international friends.
  • Affiliate Program: we want to pay YOU for something you already do, recommending the app to friends. Get started towards untold riches now J … details below.

This update also provides a significant accuracy improvement through a better image processing and simplifies some of the user interface.

What’s New

International Support
ScanBizCards now support non-English business cards for the very first time. Supported languages are: Czech, Danish, English, German, Greek, Finnish, French, Hungarian, Italian, Lithuanian, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovakian, Spanish, Serbian, Swedish, Turkish, Vietnamese.
The language support means two things: first and foremost it means that special characters and accents in these languages are recognized. It also means that we try to understand what constitutes a job title, street address and other elements in that particular language – and to improve this part we really need your help! Use the “Report A Problem” button liberally!

Note: Russian and Greek recognition require scanning twice:

  • Step 1: Scan in Russian or Greek
  • Step 2: Review each item and validate (save) each item properly recognized in that language. URLs and email addresses will not appear correctly at that stage and can be ignored or swipe-deleted.
  • Step 3: Scan again in English. This will preserve the Russian/Greek items found previously and add recognition of English text on the card such as email addresses.

Refer A Friend
We know you recommend the app to others and we thought it would be great if we could express our thanks. This is what we did: if you touch the Help button within the app (little “i” on the top right of the main page), you’ll find the usual “Refer A Friend” link, except that it now does more. For starters, the friend(s) who receive the invitation to try the app will now benefit from a brand new free trial program we implemented whereby he installs the Lite application then gets it upgraded to Premium for two weeks. Second, if that friend likes the app and upgrades at any time during or after the trial period, in-app or by installing the Premium app, you get $1! That’s right, $1 straight into your PayPal account at the end of the month. You can track the progress of those invites and the credits earned at any time at http://www.scanbizcards.com/tellafriend and entering the email address you used to receive the PayPal payments. You can also save time by using http://www.scanbizcards.com/tellafriend?email=your-email-address–goes-here

Note #1 – Converting credits to Web Sync months: for those of you using Web Sync, you can have the referral credits automatically applied each towards one month free Web Sync. Just make sure to use the email address you use for Web Sync when referring friends then check the Web Sync box on the “Tell A Friend” page (see URL above).

Note #2 – Vanity Refer A Friend URLs: you can make the same recommendation of the app on your blog, newsletter etc – just insert the same URL for the free 2 weeks upgrade with your email address – see http://www.scanbizcards.com/tellafriend for details how it’s done. Better yet: that page lets you create a URL that’s easier to remember, called a “Vanity URL”.  A vanity URL makes it easy for your friends to remember if you tell them about it in person (or if you are standing outside the Grand Central train station during rush hour urging everyone to try the app).

Improved Accuracy
This is a constant ongoing work for us. This update provides a significant improvement to accuracy by doing a better job at pre-processing images before text recognition. You should note the difference while watching the black & white image shown mid-way during scanning.

Going Black!
The folders view and cards list views now sport a cool black background – tell us what you think!

User Interface Improvements
We did a few things to streamline and simplify the flow of processing new cards, including:

  • New buttons after adding a card to the address book: directly take the next photo or “Do More With This Card” which mean go back to full-screen card view to do more with that card such as moving it to a custom folder, sending a Quick Intro email, adding a Calendar Follow-Up reminder etc. Until now, “Do More” was the only choice – but sometimes you just want to add a card to the address book …
  • New “Home” shortcut on the cards list view
  • Scanning new cards also trims the card image automatically (there is a setting to disable that behavior)
  • Better organization of settings: we still have lots of settings, but at least now they are organized in sections with explanations for each setting (truth is we did it for Danny who kept forgetting what these settings do).

iOS4.2 Address Book Groups Bug Fix
A nasty iOS4.2 issue was causing us to fail at assigning contacts to groups – now fixed.

Say Hello To Your Cards Online!
So Web Sync is diligently backing up each card you scan – but how about paying your cards a visit online! They miss you … go to www.scanbizcards.com/websync, log in using the same credentials you used for Web Sync in the app and see what you get. Warning: you might find it addictive and neglect your iPhone to play with your cards online instead! If you don’t use Web Sync yet, say hello to our demo cards instead at www.scanbizcards.com/webdemo

Sharing, bulk upload: and while you are looking at your cards online, note the option to share a custom folder with others (w/optional password): open a folder, click “Sharing Settings For This Folder” on the top right. Note: does not work for Recent Cards, only named custom folders. Also: under “Batch Actions” note the option to import many card images at once into your Web Sync account, which mean into the Recent Cards folder of your iPhone later.

Heads Up : Android Version in Beta testing
It’s almost ready – want to help us test it? Shoot yuval.kohavi@scanbizcards.com an email, it’s a very easy installation process.

Rating
We need your support reviewing the app – or re-reviewing the current version! These shortcuts take you directly to the appropriate App Store page:

Using a Tripod

Thanks to a tip by a ScanBizCards user, I have recently discovered a truly amazing solution to most of the challenges inherent in taking good photos of business cards: the Joby Gorillamobile mini-tripod for the iPhone. Set it at just the right height (have the text fill as much of the screen as possible), make sure the iPhone is perfectly parallel to the desk and you essentially get the very best photos you can take with your iPhone. No more shaking/blurriness and the text is as large as can be (which is key to OCR). You can now touch the screen to help the iPhone focus without fear of making the camera shake. It takes a minute to twist the legs of the tripod to get it to be at just the right but then all your photos come out just right …

I have a Gorillapod tripod myself and I highly recommend it! Note: the iPhone 4 version has just been released, if you have the iPhone 3G/3GS make sure to select the older model of the Gorillapod.

Patrick's Gorillapod in action