Sunday, May 26, 2013

My Phone's a Scanner? #GoogleLove

Happy Memorial Day weekend American friends!

I woke up this morning to find a little surprise from the gurus over at Google. Inside the "Drive" app, my phone now has an additional option to add documents - scan. Here is the tweet I sent out this morning announcing the arrival.

Notice the arrow is pointing to the new scan option. A couple of things to note:
1. I'm on an Android (of course!).
2. Some have reported needing to update the app for the scan function to show.
3. Obviously you need a working camera on your device.

So in between making a German Chocolate Cake from scratch (LOVE my KitchenAide), I started toying with the functionality of the app. After selecting scan, it is fairly straight forward. There are two buttons. One is the blue circle identical to the camera app and the other is the flash. Pressing the flash icon turns the light off or on. I used some of the kids school work to play and noticed that there was no color showing up. Ah! But there are options for that. After taking the shot (i.e. scanning), you get a preview of the shot. There are four options above and three below.

The crop icon does exactly what you may expect crop to do... with one additional little "smart feature". If the paper is curved or on another surface that ends up in the shot, it is automatically cropped and straightened. The second icon is a square that is created by a dark triangle and a light one. THAT is where the color options are. You can select None, Black and White, or Color. The third icon is the trash can which of course deletes the scan. The fourth icon is the settings icon standard in most Android apps. It takes you to settings to make selections such as enhancements, paper size, orientation, and quality.

The three across the bottom look like a +, a refresh, and a check mark. The + icon allows you to scan multiple pages into one document. Each time you press plus, you return to the "camera" screen to scan another page. The "refresh" icon in the middle allows you to retake the scan again. It doesn't matter if you are in a series or only a single shot. The final icon, the check mark, marks your scanning as complete for that project and saves it to your drive.

If you select a folder BEFORE selecting "add new", the scanned document will automatically be added to that folder. The file is a JPEG named as Scanned_YearMonthDate-Time.pdf  I haven't found a way to change the name of the document from within the scanning feature. When I converted the JPEGs to Google Docs, it did a decent job of deciphering the handwriting into text. If the scan was image heavy with little to no text, it kept the entire file as an image.

This is exactly the kind of functionality that makes my life so much easier. I have been taking pictures of documents, notes on the board, presentations, etc for a good while now. This makes it much simpler and automatically saves to my drive. I can add a scan straight into a saved folder and all those I have shared it with have instant access too! What do you plan to use this new functionality for?

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