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We don't "fax" anymore, but we still need to scan documents
Dinosaur scanning bread

Unfortunately, half of us don't go out of our way to "buy" scanners. We take pictures instead. 

Unfortunately x2, establishments don't accept "pictures" of official documents. "What do you mean you won't accept an iPhone picture of my headshot?" is what I thought when I went to renew my passport.

Fortunately, solving that issue, is as easy as sharing this tech-letter, so click on any of these buttons below!

Application label

Notes App 📓

iPhone notes app logo

We've reached a road-block here, sorry

This tech-letter is for Apple users only - specifically the iPhone, iPad, and iPod ones. If you do not own any of these products, I'd suggest reconsidering your decisions. That being said, stick around till the end and I might have a solution for you too.

If you own any of the products mentioned above (iPhone, iPad, or iPod), you do not need to buy a scanner or install any fancy scanning app. Your scanner comes with your product ($1,100 for a phone AND a scanner? win-win!). 

You know Apple's Notes app? In recent years, Apple has found a way to add extra use to this. You can now draw, add tables, create grocery lists, and all kinds of fun. But most importantly, the Notes app allows you to scan items straight from your phone. 

This combines the best of both worlds - taking smartphone pictures of important documents, and making them not seem like ...smartphone pictures of important documents.

    iPhone Notes App


    Open up the Notes app and you should see that little camera icon I pointed to in the image above. 

    P.S. If you don't see it, tap the "plus" icon ( ➕) that should be on the screen. 

    P.S x2. If it's not, you probably haven't updated your iPhone's software in a long time and have some other decisions you need to make.

    After selecting this option, you'll be presented with 3 more.

    1. Do you want to scan a document?
    2. Do you want to take an image/video to insert in this note?
    3. Do you want to choose an existing image/video to insert in this note?

    Since we're talking about scanning, in this tech-letter, let's go with the first one. 

    Scanning an image with iPhone
    A scanned image with iphone

    Take a picture of whatever you want to scan - in this case, a page from a book I'm reading. Though the app tries its best to "automatically" select your document for you, it's much simpler to take the picture, and use those four (4) circles on the edges to properly outline your document.

    After positioning the circles accordingly (enough to "capture" my document"), the app presents me with my scan. The best part is, I can edit the scanned document's look - with options including: colour, greyed out, black and white, or simply as just a "photo" (for reference, the one I selected above was "black and white"). 

    There you have it! A (not-so-official) document scanned, straight from your Apple device. No download. No cost.

    Bonus (Android) Content ⭐

    I had to make sure with other users that this method works; because if 10 years of journalism school has taught me one thing, it's that research is key (also I've never been to journalism school, do your research). 

    Turns out, your best bet is using the Google Drive app that is (or should be) on your Android device. Once you open up the Drive app, you tap the blue "plus" ( ➕) icon on the bottom-right corner, and scan your document. The process here is almost similar to the one I detailed in this tech-letter: you use the circles on the "crop tool" to position the outline around your document, and save your results.

    Price? Free! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    Available? Apple devices (and Android too) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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