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.
Simple Scanner by Easy, Inc. is a smartphone scanner app with a free trial version sponsored by ads and a Pro version available for $4.99. It has one unique feature for people who handle a lot of PDFs that need signatures – read on for details.
Full Review Notes
Advertisement and Limitations
In my tests, the in-app advertising was a simple banner at the bottom of the screen. The ads were fairly unobtrusive. In addition to the advertising, the free version is limited to three documents. To continue scanning after the third document you must purchase the Pro version. Many of the extra features shown on the menus are actually links to other apps by the same author. For example, OCR and Fax aren’t really features of this app, they simply link to the app store where you can buy them.
Simple Scanner captures documents using your camera and can also open files directly from your phone’s image library. Rather than attempting to guess if your document is B&W or color, Simple Scanner uses the mode set in the Settings menu. Camera capture worked well, no problems noted. The process looks very similar to TinyScanner, which uses open-source components. I’m guessing, but I think this one is using similar components.
Cropping was frustrating. The cropping cross-hairs in the zoom window are very small and black. This made it difficult to crop accurately, quickly. The tap detection was also very tight, you have to tap directly on the corner dots to make them respond, which is difficult near the edges of the screen. These are similar complaints to the ones I had for TinyScanner; I think they are using the same code.
While editing, you can rotate and choose from five different contrast levels. It’s not obvious, but you can also tap the Android back button and revisit the cropping window if needed.
Simple Scanner allows you to digitally sign a document, a feature I don’t see often in other apps. You can quickly sign the screen, then resize, drag and embed a signature into the document. You even have a choice of colors to use for the ink. This might make a compelling feature for you if you need to quickly scan and sign a document, or capture a customer’s signature.
Saving & Sharing
You can share your document as PDF or JPG, through Bluetooth, email, or other apps installed on your phone. Printing is available also. Cloud services are reserved for the Pro version. This seems like a weird restriction, considering the free version only allows three documents before demanding an upgrade to Pro.
Simple Scanner in many ways resembles TinyScanner. The user interface is quirky. The recropping process is harder than it needs to be. It has the ability to capture signatures, and that feature alone might make it your choice. It doesn’t have a viable free version, and to fully use all the menu options you’ll need to buy a couple more companion apps. If you need signatures, check it out – but if you don’t, you’ll find other apps more fun to use.