Review: JotNot scanner for iPhone

JAiB reviews JotNot

I took a look at JotNot Lite a little while ago and my conclusion was pretty ambiguous. I wasn’t totally sure of what the full feature of the app would offer over the Lite, aside from a ‘save scan’ button (you have to take a screenshot in Lite) and Evernote integration. Afterwards the developers graciously offered us a promo code so we could see the whole package, and I was pretty surprised how much more was included in the “real” JotNot. There are quite a few more switches, options, and a deeper integration with Evernote than I had initially anticipated.


Same Same, But Different
JotNot and its Lite cousin are essentially the same beast when it comes down to the actual “scanning” of an image. You can take a picture within the app or use one from your camera roll, and you still have to crop the section that you’d like to be “scanned”. One great UI element that I neglected to touch upon last time is the way the picture zooms in as you crop the corners — it’s a very nice touch!

Evernote Integration
I know that there are other apps that have taken advantage of the Evernote API, but JotNot is the first one that I’ve actually wanted to use. I’ve always e-mailed things to my special Evernote e-mail address, and for some reason I thought that’s all that JotNot did to work with the service. I’m glad I was wrong! Evernote integration actually includes tags and notebooks, so you can specify exactly where you’d like to put your note. The only limitation is that you can only send one note at a time — but that’s not too bad. I’d rather send the scans via e-mail or via a ‘camera roll’ upload in the actual Evernote app.

evernote goodness
More options — a lot more options
Whereas JotNot lite gave you one choice (process!), the paid version of the app features a whole slew of settings. You can make turn all of your scans black and white, and there are pre-sets for whiteboards, receipts, documents, and a few other things you’d likely scan with your iPhone. There are options for the program to auto-detect the size of the paper, but I didn’t really understand the effects this would have on the estimates or the final scans. I just left this on auto.
The final options are available once your iPhone has completed a scan. You can save the file as a .JPG or a .PDF (accessible via Wi-Fi on your computer), email the file as a .PDF, .JPG, or .PNG, or use the Evernote integration I mentioned earlier.

jotnot options

Speed
Having used JotNot a little more for this review, I think it’s also worth noting that the application seems about as fast as actually scanning documents — clocking in at around six seconds for processing and half a second for saving the final file as a photo.

Shifting Perspectives
I wasn’t convinced that there was a dramatic difference between a good, clear picture compared to a scanned image in JotNot until I realized the power of the cropping feature. If you crop an image correctly, you can actually end up shifting the perspective of the image so that it looks like you’re reading it head-on. This is very, very cool, and the images below should show the benefit clearly:

Initial shot with cropping outline…

snapshot-1256145637.899415

Final Scanned Image…

snapshot-1256145448.511381

Conclusion
I was a bit of a JotNot skeptic at first, but now I’m really, really impressed with the app. If you’re looking for a way to take full advantage of the iPhone 3GS’ speed and camera for documenting your receipts, whiteboards, whatever other text you might want to snap, then I highly recommend giving the app a shot. The Lite version offers a great look at the app’s capabilities (especially its perspective shifting cropping!), and the paid version really does amp things up nicely with the extra scanning and sharing options. Plus, JotNot works with Evernote, and I tend to love anything that works with my favourite green elephant.  :P

JotNot is available for $2.99 on the App Store, but I’d recommend you check out the Lite version first.

JotNot provided a promo code to Just Another iPhone Blog for the review of JotNot. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the “About” page.

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