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Skewed photos of business receipts and whiteboards on your iPhone? No problem. Straighten, brighten, and share captures with Genius Scan.

Todd Ogasawara

February 23, 2012

3 Min Read

Genius Scan--and the paid version Genius Scan+--for iPhone provides a convenient way to capture whiteboard sessions, receipts, and other papers and signage on the go, clean them up, and save and disseminate them in various formats. Although designed for the iPhone, Genius Scan also can be used with an iPad 2, despite the much lower resolution (sub megapixel) of the iPad 2's rear-facing camera.

You can take photographs using the app, or import existing photographs from your iPhone or iPad's Photo Album. This means you don't have to remember to run the app during a whiteboard brainstorming session or projected presentation; images taken by the iPhone or iPad's camera app can be processed by Genius Scan later.

One of the app's most interesting abilities is straightening skewed or off-centered images of photographed whiteboards or signs. If enough visual information is available, the app will automatically attempt to fix the skew itself. You also can manually manipulate the lines defining the capture area to straighten images.

Genius Scan by default converts photos to high-contrast black and white images like the one in the example below.

But the app gives you the option to preserve color if you prefer.

A processed color photograph goes through what looks like a bit of image sharpening, contrast enhancement, and, like the black and white conversions, skew correction.

Another one of the app's neat tricks is the ability to collect multiple processed photographs into a single document. These collections can be a series of whiteboard sessions, receipts from a business trip, or anything else that you want to keep in a single file.

The free Genius Scan app lets you share a document of one or more images via email or Twitter. The paid Genius Scan+ app extends sharing to Dropbox, Evernote, Google Docs, box.net, Expensify and printing via AirPrint. Email images are sent as JPEG files. Documents exported to cloud services are saved as PDF files.

You can reduce a document's size before sending it. You have four options: Small, Medium, or Large. Or you can keep the original size by choosing Actual.

Cloud service authentication takes place within the Genius Scan+ paid app itself. Genius supports tags in the third-party services as seen in the Evernote configuration example below.

You can store specific information for each document in the appropriate Evernote fields.

However, I ran into errors during some attempts to upload new documents to Evernote. Uploads to other cloud services such as Dropbox worked as expected.

The free Genius Scan app has all the scanning features of the paid version and is very useful for processing images of whiteboards and projected presentations. The paid version's capability to copy collections of images (documents) to popular cloud storage and information processing services such as box.net, Dropbox, Evernote, and Expensify might justify its $2.99 price.

Name: Genius Scan - PDF Scanner, Genius Scan+ - PDF Scanner
Price: Free, $2.99

Genius Scan can clean up, straighten up, assemble, and share photographs of whiteboards, receipts, and other signage. It's designed for iPhone but can also be used with the iPad 2.


  • Near-full-featured free version.

  • Straightens skewed photographs of whiteboards.

  • Works with Expensify business expense management service.

  • Paid version provides numerous cloud storage integration options.


  • Works on iPad but does not scale to the larger display.

  • Current release has problems saving to Evernote.

About the Author(s)

Todd Ogasawara

Contributing Editor

Todd Ogasawara is a Contributing Editor for BYTE.

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