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What’s On My iPhone–TextGrabber from AABBYY

Share it Please
I’m not an app developer and I don’t work for one, but I do use my iPhone for work and creativity, so I like to share information about apps I have discovered that help me do so.

I Need That Text!

AABBYY’s TextGrabber is amazing. I use it to snap a photo of a page or paragraph of text and the app goes about its job of recognizing the text and making it available to me in plain text.  It can also translate captured text and recognize in different language. I haven’t tried the translate function because I have been too busy capturing text, quotes and this and that for projects I’m working on.  It is saving me all kinds of time typing.  I write a lot of curriculum and book reviews and frequently I need to quote some text I’m working with.  I read a lot of the books on an e-reader and I’ve run into the problem of not being able to cut and paste text from the source into the review or curriculum.  No more.  Whether I’m reading a printed on paper book or on an e-reader, I can use TextGrabber to capture small paragraphs accurately and that is making my work very much easier. 

Ready, Snap, Recognize

To demonstrate I grabbed a book I am currently reading Wherever You Go There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn and turned to a random page.  I didn’t bother to get perfect light, or flatten the page properly as directed by the instructions.  I just opened the app and snapped a page.  I wanted to see if the app could handle a fast, sloppy text grab.  And it did.  Even with poor lighting and no effort to get a good image, AABBYY’s TextGrabber was still able to recognize the majority of the text and provide a usable text version that I could email or incorporate in a quotation in my project.  I could also post the recognized text to Facebook, Twitter, Evernote, email or text messages.

Also, I don’t have to open the app to capture text.  I can snap a photo using the iPhone’s regular camera app, save it and process it later.  That’s a handy feature because sometimes I don’t have the time to pause for optical character recognition to run, but I will have the time later.   The application stores a history of images and processed information so that I can retrieve all my work later.

When an app works this well for me, I’m inclined to see what else the developers have on their site.  AABBYY have a Business Card Reader for iPhone that uses the same fast optical character recognition technology, the iPhone’s autofocus and will drop your snapped business card directly into your iPhone address book. I don’t get to receive too many business cards, but I can see how such an app would be useful, especially if it works as seamlessly as TextGrabber does.


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