Microsoft Ports Office Lens App To iPhone, Android

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Office Lens app that scans documents into an editable file arrives on Android and Apple iOS devices

Microsoft has ported a document scanner app that turns photos into editable documents, onto the Android and iOS platforms.

The move continues the recent trend of porting applications onto rival operating systems.

Document Scanner

Microsoft revealed the move in a posting on its Office blog. The Office Lens app has been available for Windows Phone users for over a year now and it has proved to be one of that platform’s most popular free apps.

Office-Lens-1 Essentially, the Office Lens app turns your smartphone or tablet into a mobile scanner. The user can take photos of items such as whiteboards, business cards, restaurant menus from any angle, and the app automatically trims, enhances, and makes the pictures readable. It can save an image as a Word file, PowerPoint presentation or PDF file.

“Weird angles are straightened, shadows are cleaned up and the images are automatically synced to OneNote, so you can get to them on all your devices,” said Microsoft.

As well as saving documents to OneNote, it can also synch documents to Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage app.

But that is not all. When the photo includes printed text, say for instance a business card, optical character recognition (OCR) is used to generate a contact listing that can be added to the smartphone. Likewise, images the contain text can also be converted into a Word document that the user can edit.

Other images, say for example a till receipt, can be converted into searchable PDF files, which means the users doesn’t have to take the paper receipt with them after purchasing an item or eating at a restaurant.

Cross Platform

There is a growing trend nowadays of making apps work on different platforms.

Earlier this week for example, Google released a developer tool to allow Android apps to be used on any computer that can run the Chrome web browser. That included Windows PCs, Apple Macs, Linux machines, and of course Chrome OS computers.

Meanwhile last December, Microsoft Azure RemoteApp delivered Windows apps to Android and iOS users. And Microsoft has previously launched new and updated applications for mobile devices that allowed iPhone, iPad and Android users to open and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents without an Office 365 subscription.

Office Lens is available here for Apple iOS users.

Office Lens Android Preview can be found here.

Office Lens continues to available for Windows Phone users here.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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