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Wednesday, January 27, 2010
iPhonetunes review: Business Card Reader
iPhonetunes review: Business Card Reader

Business Card Reader is the third app we reviewed from Shape Services and this month. After Charlie being very enthusiastic about IM+, now it is my turn to see if Business Card Reader is from the same quality.

I have a pile of business cards on my desk, and I never have them with me when I really need them. I hate walking around with thousands of things, and it’s one of the main reasons I have the iPhone. I was curious to see if BC Reader is the solution for this problem.

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Features – 5.0 With BC Reader you can photograph your Business Cards and the application uses OCR technology, which can electronically translate handwritten or typewritten text into editable text. Note that this application can only recognize typewritten text; anyway that is what all business card are made of (I tried this just for fun).

After the OCR scan is done, you can correct the info where wrong. Important is that you have enough light when you scan the cards. If you do, the positive scan result is amazing. Some of the cards I didn’t have to edit and many had only very minor adjustments needed. In the cases where all looked wrong I just retook the photo with a good result.

One of the cool features is that you can merge the scanned info with current contacts, which helped me a lot because I had some of these people already in my contacts, but not with all the info like the address for example. There is another option to scan business cards that you already have photographed with your iPhone (probably not many people have done this already).

And finally the Card Holder function, where you can view the photographed cards and the electronic info, so you can dial or email this person from there.

The following languages are recognized in the version; English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. More languages will be supported in future versions.

Appearance - 5.0? BC Reader is designed very appealing. It looks like a real world leather cardholder, to bridge the digital / analog gap. When the OCR starts scanning, you see a nice scan animation that look futuristic. Also “the about” section which contains FAQ, Support and Tell a friend, is nice designed and animated. These features open their own browser, so you aren’t kicked out the app to go online.

iPhone apps | BC ReaderiPhone apps | BC Reader

Usability - 5.0 The app is simple and easy to use and performs all its functions like you would expect. Just make sure you have enough light when scanning.

Value - 3.5 ?The app costs $5.99 and is not expensive for it’s functionality and usefulness if you have a lot of business cards, if you just have a few cards, it is a bit too pricey.

Overall ?BC Reader is a nice designed and useful little application that adds value to the iPhone as a multi-purpose device.

BC Reader changes the way business cards will be designed in the future. I can recommend anyone who needs to design one, to test this app first. E.g. some business cards have an M in front of the mobile number, and this is also scanned and must be deleted afterwards.

Summary:
Features - 5.0
Appearance - 5.0
Usability - 5.0
Value - 3.5
Overall: 4.6 stars our of 5

Shape Services provided a copy of BC Reader for this review


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