This review is part of the Smartphone Scanner Review series, where I compare the top-rated smartphone scanner apps for Android. Many of these apps also have Apple iPhone versions which may have slightly different operation or features.
Clear Scanner is a smartphone scanner app from Indy Mobile App. They also sometimes refer to it as ClearScanner, without the space in the name. The version I’m reviewing is free, with advertising.
Full Review Notes
Advertisement and Limitations
The free version of Clear Scanner has banner ads at the bottom of the screen and occasional full-screen ads. For $2.49 you can upgrade to an advertising-free version. Other than the advertising, the free version has all the features of the paid version.
Clear Scanner uses a two-step capture process for each page that requires you to approve the image before moving on to the cropping screen. This was a bit annoying compared to other apps which move directly to the cropping screen without the need for confirmation. Otherwise, the camera capture worked well.
Clear Scanner did a decent job of page detection and setting the cropping outline automatically. Manual cropping was reasonably easy, the green outline was fairly easy to see in contrast to most pages. While editing, you can rotate set the page mode, Color or B&W. You can also apply three different contrast modes – Original, Photo or Docs. While viewing a multipage document, use press and drag to reshuffle pages. Page size settings are extensive.
I had one issue while editing. Clear Scanner locked up when processing a full-screen photo. The app froze with a black screen. The other apps on my phone responded normally, and I was able to close the app using the phone’s launcher. I was able to restart Clear Scanner, my document was still saved, no data was lost. I did not need to reboot myphone. I tried but was unable to reproduce the error.
A couple features worth noting are attached notes and OCR. Clear Scanner has the ability to attach a text note to the PDF, although this note isn’t shared with the file, so it seems to have limited usefulness. OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is nice, and did a reasonable job. However, the OCR text also isn’t included in the PDF or shared alongside, so you are limited to copy/paste if you want to use this information.
Saving & Sharing
Clear Scanner allows sharing and saving with the basic methods on your phone including Bluetooth and printing. You can adjust the document compression and share as PDF or JPG.
Clear Scanner is a workable app and has enough features to be useful. The ads in the free version are annoying, but the paid version is only $2.49. For the price, it’s a reasonable choice. OCR is handy, but the attached notes feature seems useless. I found the two-step capture annoying. Clear Scanner is based on a suite of open source libraries, and looks fairly generic.