Office Lens

Microsoft is bringing its OneNote scanner app called Office Lens to Android after first launching on Windows Phone a year ago. Office Lens is similar to other on-the-go scanner apps letting you use your Android smartphone camera to capture information from receipts, documents, and other information around you. Office Lens is different, however, because it’s connected directly with OneNote, Microsoft’s cloud-syncing notebook service.

Office Lens can automatically crop images for you by finding the corners of cards or sheets of paper, and images are enhanced and cleaned up before being sent to OneNote or OneDrive. The automatic enhancement appear rather sophisticated with a high tolerance for rough image captures.

Images can even be converted to Word, PowerPoint, and PDF formats from the app. OCR, or optical character recognition, is built right in letting you search for text from scanned documents. Using this same technology, Office Lens can create contacts by scanning business cards and parsing the text.

Office Lens is available as a preview version on Android ahead of its future Play Store release. Android users can follow these steps to become a tester for Microsoft’s new OCR-scanning app:

  • Go to Office Lens Android Preview in the Google+ community.
  • Click Join community in the upper right-hand corner.
  • Under About this community, click the Become a Tester link and then follow instructions on the page.

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