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Guide: CamScanner vs Google Drive: Comparison and Review
A smartphone camera can be used in several ways besides photography. One of these is the scanning of receipts and documents. There are quite a few scanner apps available on both iOS and Android platforms. However, I found CamScanner and Google Drive to be quite worthy and shortlisted them for this guideLately, I’ve been busy moving my data and apps to the Google ecosystem.
Earlier I discussed why I moved from Dropbox to Google Drive. Today we will take a look at CamScanner and see how it compares to scanning Google Drive feature
CamScanner is built from the ground up up to be used for scanning documents and receipts.
Google Drive, on the other hand, is primarily a cloud storage platform that also offers various office apps, including document scanning.back to menu ↑
1. How to To start
When you install CamScanner for the first time, you need to create an account. No social sign-up option is available. Once you do it, you will be greeted with a beautiful and functional interface. There is a scan button at the bottom of the screen. When you tap on it, you will notice different options such as PPT, Documents, ID card and so on. Choose an option depending on the type of document you want to scan.
Google Drive works differently. If you have a Google account, you do not need to register separately. You can use your Google account for Google Drive. To start scanning files, you need to tap on the ‘+’ icon at the bottom of the screen. So you have to scan documents individually and then use them with other apps like Docs, Slides, Sheets and Folder.
Let’s take a look at the user experience and what they have to offer in addition to their ability to scan documents.back to menu ↑
2. Scan test
With CamScanner you can scan different types of documents such as PPT, ID card, question book and even QR codes. Under ID cards there are separate options for driver’s license and passport. But it was the greeting card option that caught my eye.
There are many designs to choose from and all you have to do is write on a piece of paper and scan it with one of the templates.
Yes, I know my handwriting is barely legible, and I’m not very good at wishing people. So don’t judge!
When you scan a document, it tries to detect its edges, or you can do it manually. You can rotate it 360 degrees. When you are satisfied, CamScanner will give you multiple options to save the scanned file. You can save it as black and white or in gray mode. In my experience, Auto works fine.
In the screenshot above, have you noticed the OCR (Optical Character Recognition) icon option in a magnifying glass? Tap it to extract text from the image. When using OCR, you can select a specific area or the whole page depending on your need. This is useful if you later want to search for text in a scanned image.
When I scanned a business card and used OCR to scan text, it was able to detect name and appellation. But it completely missed the address part. When I used it on a simple document with little to no design elements, it worked better. Still, I was disappointed for an app that has a separate business card scanning option. Unfortunately I ran out of other cards to test it further.
You can now translate or proofread this text for errors. Both features are available after you subscribe to the monthly plan. More on that later.
Google Drive does not provide templates. One type of scan mode is available for all document types. Like CamScanner, if Drive Scan doesn’t detect the edges, you can adjust it manually by tapping the square icon.
Once you are satisfied with the result, you can proceed to save it in black and white, color or color drawing. To do this, tap the paint icon.
Both CamScanner and Drive Scan can process and scan multiple documents at once. CamScanner does better with a special batch scan mode while in Google Drive there is a ‘+’ icon to continue scanning, which is only visible on the editing screen. This makes CamScanner faster in batch processing.
CamScanner also did a better job of detecting the edges. In Google Drive, I had to adjust it almost every time I scanned documents.back to menu ↑
4. OCR test
When you open a scanned image in CamScanner, there is an option to convert scans to text at the bottom. When you tap the OCR option, you will be prompted to save the results to the cloud that requires credits (to be purchased) or locally, which is free. I chose the latter because it doesn’t affect the conversion.
The result was fairly accurate with a few punctuation errors, but still solid. I could read the paragraph and get into it.
The Drive scan is part of the Google Drive suite of apps that also include Docs, Sheets, and Slides. As such, things work differently here. Open the scanned file and tap the menu to select Open With. Here, select Documents and Google will create a new document with the same name with the scanned text.
Google Drive performed equally well, but with a difference. I can now edit the page in Google Docs and remove any errors in the process. CamScanner allows you to edit documents by exporting them in text format. You can also annotate them with the InNote app available on the Play Store.
Both CamScanner and Google Drive Scan help you translate scanned and converted text into foreign languages. CamScanner and Google Drive have a powerful search function feature to easily scan to text in the documents.back to menu ↑
5. Prices and storage
This is where CamScanner and Google Drive differ significantly. Google Drive offers 15 GB of storage for free, which is shared with all Google apps and any files you have stored in Drive. If you need more storage, you can buy 100 GB for $ 1.99 per month and 200 GB for $ 2.99 per month.
CamScanner will cost you $ 4.99 / month for 10 GB of storage. Premium features with no ads or watermark, ability to export OCR results in TXT format, cloud OCR (so you can keep everything in sync), create unlimited folders, share files with password protection and text translation.
All the features available in CamScanner premium are already included in Google Drive for free and storage plans are also significantly cheaper. In addition, Google Docs supports the RTF format, while CamScanner converts the text to the TXT format.
With the basic account in CamScanner you get 200 MB of storage space. You can earn up up to 1.5 GB of storage space by participating in various activities such as writing a review, inviting friends and sharing on social media sites.
You can invite up up to 10 employees in the free account that goes up to 40 in the premium account. Google noted that in their support forum up up to 100 people can edit a single document in Drive at any time, even in the free account.
CamScanner also offers a business version that starts at $ 6.99 / month. Google has its G Suite of apps, but I think it will be unfair to compare the two as G Suite has way too many apps to its name.back to menu ↑
CamScanner vs Google Drive Scan
Scans made by the CamScanner app were brighter and clearer. This is not to say that the Google Drive scanned results were worse. Both are similar when it comes to scanning documents and converting them to text. I found the CamScanner’s output quality to be slightly better than the results from Google Drive.
CamScanner offers different scanning modes for different types of documents. However, I hope you noticed in the previous section how the address on a business card was not recognized. Still, CamScanner is better when it comes to ease of use, such as batch processing. Google Drive is slower, but also a much cheaper alternative of the two.
In my ongoing effort to move the base to the Google ecosystem, I choose Google Drive over CamScanner.
Which one do you use and why?back to menu ↑
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