Ever since CamScanner has been banned in India there has been a huge Void in the Scanner app section. Today let’s talk about Indian Scanner Apps and what are your choices in terms of Indian scanner apps.
I will be talking about scanner apps available in India, emphasizing scanner apps that were made in India.
What is a scanner app?
Scanners in the traditional sense are pieces of hardware used to create digital copies of objects such as posters, images, etc.
Nowadays due to the abundance of cameras on smartphones we can use our phones themselves as scanners and help us preserve this data better we use scanner apps. Scanner apps on smartphones work best when converting written documents into PDF files or other similar files.
PDF is a file type that was invented by Adobe in 1993 has become increasingly popular over the years.
Also, if you are a teacher/presenter of any sort you should check out: Best Whiteboard Animation Software in 2021
How to use a scanner app?
Most popular scanner apps are used to make PDFs out of images taken from your smartphone camera or from your storage. Scanner apps can also help you scan various types of QR codes and Barcodes although most apps focus on converting images to PDFs.
You could also combine multiple PDFs into one using scanner apps but again that is a feature available on just a handful of apps in the entire sea of scanner apps.
How am I judging these apps?
For me, the most important feature in a scanner app is the page detection algorithm. If it can detect pages well, I would call it a good app.
Secondly, the app should have the ability to capture multiple pages at once. This feature saves a ton of time when I’m scanning a chapter or scanning notes.
Having multiple filters is a welcome feature but I find it a bit pointless as while making a PDF I’m less concerned about the color than the content of the PDF.
Another helpful feature that I’ve seen in popular scanner apps is handwriting detection and while it might sound silly to some it saves a lot of time later if you ever have to convert your written document into a word document.
Although we will focus on Indian scanner apps, I want to quickly shout out to Adobe Scan. Adobe scan can do everything that I’ve talked about above and much more while being a simple and easy-to-use lightweight app.
It is the most efficient app I’ve ever seen. The entire UI is very well thought out and implemented. The smaller things like being able to edit the content even after clicking the picture just puts this app way above the other Indian scanner apps I’ve seen today.
It is made by the American Software company mostly known for its photo and video editing tools. The co-founder of Adobe was the creator of the PDF file type and hence you can bet your bottom dollar that their scanner app is better than anything else in the market right now.
Indian Scanner app
Now that the Indian government has banned all Chinese apps, other Indian apps have a chance to rise up and shine, here is a list of Indian scanner apps that prove to be worthy alternatives:
With over 1Cr downloads scanner go seems to be one of the most popular Indian scanner apps.
It has a wide range of features from image to PDF to OCR (converting images to text). The app allows free users to use all the features but the drawback is that your documents will have a watermark on them which makes the app’s free tier less than ideal to use for professionals. Apart from this, you are served with ads in the free version as well.
The image to text feature is very well implemented and can easily read the printed text and can do a decent job with handwriting.
- Intuitive UI
- Feature Packed
- Can convert PDFs to Images and vice versa
- Good page detection algorithm
- No limitations on free tiers
- Good filters
- Option to edit PDF after exporting it
- Image to text feature works very well
- Can capture multiple pages at once
- Free tier adds watermarks to files
- Premium tier is very expensive
- They follow a subscription model for premium features
- No description available about the features making it difficult to use some of the features
- Unconventional placement of ads and frequent ads make it annoying to use the app
Coming in at number 2 on our list is Document scanner. This is also another one of the most popular Indian scanner apps with above 1Cr downloads. The app is easy to use and has amazing pricing options: you can pay for 3 months at a time, 1 year at a time and you can also pay an upfront fee to unlock premium features for a lifetime.
The app also has a very generous free tier. You can make and export documents without watermarks, the app has a small ad at the bottom of the page that does not destroy the user experience.
The image to text feature is just okay, it works sometimes and sometimes it just gives you utter garbage.
You can add tags and even like documents which makes it easier to find them.
- Good page detection algorithm
- Can scan multiple pages at once
- Can convert PDF to images and vice versa
- You can add links in your PDFs very easily
- Very generous free tier
- Sensible premium tier pricing
- Plethora of filters available
- Option to edit the page after capturing it
- Can generate and read QR codes
- Can read text from Image
- Not all features are available to free users
- Editing after exporting the file is limited to cropping and adding signatures
With over 50 Lakh downloads this app makes it number 3 on our list. The app lacks behind in features quite a bit as compared to other apps we’ve seen on this list.
Just like the other apps we’ve seen here this app has 2 tiers as well, premium and free. Thankfully you can access all the features of the app without paying but paying for the app will make your experience ad-free. The premium version is very cheap as well at Rs. 99 it sounds like a steal.
Although it does lack most of the features you would expect a scanner app to come with, for instance, you cannot crop your scanned image to the page size instead you can crop down the image to another rectangle on your screen which isn’t what most people would want.
- The app is free to use without any limitation
- The premium version of the app is cheaper than other apps
- Allows you to select compression level hence saving storage space
- Does not allow you to crop image to page size
- Does not have a page detection algorithm
- Does not have any filters
- Does not have image correction tools (such as erasers)
- Confusing UI
- Cannot edit PDFs after exporting them
- Cannot read text from image
On spot number 4 we have Kaagaz scanner. Kaagaz does a good job at making PDFs and boasts quite a few useful features. It does lack a bit in the scanned images editing section but otherwise, it’s a solid app.
Kaagaz also offers 250MB cloud storage to users who sign in, which is quite generous as compared to other apps which don’t offer this feature at all. This app can combine two PDFs, it can convert a PDF into pictures, and much more.
The page detection algorithm is absent but the manual cropping tool is pretty decent. There is no Image to Text feature either
- Easy to use app
- Free to use and fewer ads as compared to other apps
- Can convert PDF to image
- Can merge multiple PDFs into one
- Can edit PDF after exporting it
- Free cloud storage available
- Can remove passwords from PDFs
- Can compress PDFs
- Can split PDFs into smaller PDFs
- No page detection algorithm, you have to manually crop it
- Does not have eraser tool which can help digitally edit pictures after scanning them
- No filters available
- Cannot read text from images
This app was built with just one feature in mind, converting images to PDFs and it does it pretty well but it still lacks features that the other apps we’ve seen so far have.
The page editing features are a bit weak and definitely need more work, the page detection algorithm works but barely, I had to manually correct the crop for 2 out of the 3 three times that I’ve used the app. The app does not automatically crop your page to the dimensions of the physical page rather it does that once you press on the crop.
- It does not have any ads
- It does not add any watermarks to the documents
- Simple to use UI
- Allows you to select file size so that you can save storage space
- Severe lack of features
- Cannot convert PDFs to images
- Bad page detection algorithm
- No page editing features
- Cannot convert from image to text
- Limited number of filters
- Does not crop page by default
- The flash icon needs to be clicked every time you want to use flash while scanning pages
In case you were looking for something that can directly sync with your google drive (cloud storage), Bharat scanner is for you. With a QR code scanner and an easy-to-use PDF creator, it isn’t difficult to see how this app has managed to rack up 10 lakh downloads.
Its features are limited but useful. The picture editor inside the PDF creator is very lackluster and can barely perform the basic tasks. It does support multiple pages being scanned at once but you will have to go in and manually crop down all the images since the page detection algorithm never works properly.
Apart from this, the way the app serves ads is a bit spammy. You can’t go two minutes without an ad in this app (as per my experience so far). This app does not offer a premium tier either which means that you are forced to watch ads.
- It is free
- It does not add any watermarks
- No premium tier available, hence forced to watch ads
- Page detection algorithm barely works
- Limited selection of filters
- Confusing and redundant UI
- Too many ads
- Cannot edit content digitally after scanning page
- Very limited editing option after exporting PDF
Made by the world-famous company: Zoho, I had great expectations from this app. While the app boasts some great features, some of the features have bugs in them. For example, switching on the auto mode causes the app to crash.
Otherwise, the app is amazing, it has by far the best text recognition algorithm I’ve seen, even better than Adobe Scan which was the benchmark for me.
- It is free and does not show ads
- It has amazing page detection algorithm
- Incomparable text recognition algorithm
- Allows you to attach digital signatures to the PDFs
- You can add tags to documents to better sort them
- Can import PDFs from CamScanner
- You can create folders to better organise your files
- It has no watermarks
- Has ability to edit pictures (by highlighting and drawing over picture) after they have been scanned
- You can add workflows which can essentially automate certain parts of the process of scanning the PDF for example you can set up the name of the document to by default be named to the date and time of scanning or you can automate the uploading process to google drive so that for every scanned file on the app, you can have a copy in your cloud storage.
- The auto detect feature while scanning pages is bugged and crashes the app
- The filters are very weird and destroy the quality of the scan
- Unconventional workflow
- The option to edit pictures, it’s available in table mode only, you can’t highlight or draw over scanned pictures in other modes.
Side by side comparison
|Scanner go||Doc scanner||IMG2PDF||Kaagaz scanner||PDFO||Bharat scanner||Zoho Doc Scanner|
|Draw on scanned pages||No||No||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Image to text||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No||Yes|
*All prices are in Rs.
In conclusion, I think the Zoho doc scanner has tremendous potential and can be the best Indian scanner, maybe even the best scanner app on the play store but the app still has a few glaring bugs that they need to fix until then my recommendation would be Doc scanner as it has all the features that I expect a good scanner app to have.
Yes, you can, although not all apps can do it. Check out the list above to see which ones can
Yes you can extract images from the PDFs using one of the apps mentioned above but do be careful as some apps do not have this feature
You can find a few scanner apps that scan QR codes as well but it’s best to download a separate app for that.
Download one of the above-mentioned apps and start scanning the document you need to convert into a PDF.
You can use an online PDF-making tool. Searching “Online PDF maker” will yield sufficient search results.