AMITIAE - Monday 26 January 2015

Evernote Scannable: Simple and Easy to Use iOS App for Scanning Documents (Updated)

apple and chopsticks


By Graham K. Rogers

Evernote Scannable

Only a few days ago in a review item, I looked at a new (and useful) app that used the iPhone camera to produce document scans: CamScanner+. Along with this, I updated my comments on two other scanning apps I use, Genius Scan - PDF Scanner; and My Scans.

In a Twitter chat at the weekend, a local user mentioned that, as an Evernote user, he was now finding that Evernote Scannable was useful. I noticed this app in the Best New Apps section of the iTunes App Store here on Monday, so downloaded this free app for a look. On the iPhone screen, the name appears simply as Scannable.

After an introduction, there is a brief animated video to show the types of uses that the app can be put to, then a request to use the camera. This is necessary of course: no camera, no scanning.

When permission is granted by the user, the blue screen becomes partially transparent and we can see faint input from the camera. There are also two buttons

  • Start Scanning (default)
  • Control your Scansnap

I started with the second of these and was treated to another information video that showed some options about sharing output. I was then returned to the blue screen that now had the single Start Scanning button: so I did. . . .

The screen has two sections: camera input, and a bottom section that has text information: "Fit document inside screen. Place on contrasting background." Within the screen area there is a spinning indicator and a small button with the text, "Manual". I did try this feature, but the way that the automatic scan worked was far easier for most tasks I would envisage.

Scannable Scannable

I started with my notes from the iPhone introduction as I had with CamScanner+ and the screen darkened a couple of times, before a thumbnail image of the page appeared at the bottom of the screen. Tapping the image allowed me to take a number of actions:

  • Crop, which is done in a similar way to Genius Scan - PDF Scanner; and My Scans with adjustable lines round the image
  • Rotate: a one-tap action to turn the image 90 degrees for each tap
  • Delete.

Scannable Scannable

When I was done, I tapped the image again and the small tool-bar disappeared. Beneath was a single, Export icon. This gave me several options:

  • Mail was a simple operation opening a message with the attachment, which arrived in my mailbox as a JPG image of some 329 KB
  • Evernote (see below)
  • Camera Roll
  • Message
  • Export opened an iCloud Disk window with a number of folders visible, although not all were active (e.g. Pages)
  • More, which allowed me to access several services, including Twitter, Facebook and iCloud Photo Sharing; there were also a number of other options here, like Assign to Contact, Print, Investigate (showing metadata),

All of the exports I saw were in JPG format and I could see no way to switch to a PDF export. I consulted the local user who told me that the JPG attachement is converted in Evernote to a PDF by the user.

The other scanning apps I use have options for PDF or JPG output, so this might limit the use of the Evernote Scannable app for some users (see Update, below). One of the most common uses I have for attachments is when I pay a bill here and the company requires email confirmation (I guess so they can find my transaction more easily from others that are paid in).

For this purpose, then, Scannable would be perfect, especially considering the ease with which the original is imported automatically: a couple of taps and my bill processing would be done.


In the few hours since I uploaded the review to by site, an update to version 1.0.1 has been released. One of the major features that has now been added is the ability to choose between JPG and PDF file types.

That increases the usefulness of this nice app considerably.

See also:

Flexible and Useful Scanning App for iOS Devices: CamScanner+

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.



Made on Mac

For further information, e-mail to

Back to eXtensions
Back to Home Page

All content copyright © G. K. Rogers 2015