Cards is an app by Julian Schiavo that does one thing very well – it scans business cards. There have been apps that do this for years ? I’ve used tons of them. But none do it so well as Cards.
I have used Scannable, ABYY card scanner, and a bunch of others I can’t even remember anymore. For a long time, CardMunch was my favorite. It got acquired by LinkedIn, and then they killed it.
Using Cards gives me hope that it will remain good, and remain supported, for some time to come. We know that it will, because Schiavo has renamed it ClusterCards for the next release that supports iOS 13 only.
Ideally, you want three things – the ability to scan a card fast, have it recognize the text correctly, and add it somewhere useful. Even better, you might want to export a collection of cards to a file you can refer to or work with later.
And it does this – you give it permission to use the camera, tap + to take a photo, and it shows a frame around the card. You can adjust that, or continue, and it recognizes the text. To be clear, it recognized the text so fast, I wasn’t sure it had done it. But, I scrolled down, and it had every detail correct. I am impressed.
On top of all that, it works with Siri Shortcuts. You can record a phrase like “Scan a card” and scan a business card using the camera directly from the Siri voice prompt.
Upgrading to the pro version for $2.99 USD gives you the ability to scan groups of cards, sort cards, show names below the cards on the main screen, scan the backs of cards, show the card details immediately after scanning (which is useful for adding new information or notes), and enables locking with FaceID. It also lets you change light and dark themes, and select an App icon of your choosing.
Upgrading in Cards will give you the full version with all the features of ClusterCards when that update comes, around the time iOS 13 launches.
Cards is very cool. It’s fast, it has some great features, and if you deal with a lot of business cards (ask me sometime what going to CES is like) it’s sure to speed up your life as you try to handle them. Check out Cards on the App Store.
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