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FineReader for Mobile—The Answers to Nine Frequently Asked Questions (new)


ABBYY FineReader for iOS receives hundreds of reviews in the App Store and Google Play. We are glad to receive your feedback and answer your questions. The most frequent questions include:

  • What is optical character recognition (OCR) and what can I use it for?
  • What's the difference between FineReader and a phone camera?
  • Does recognition work online or offline?
  • Do you have a similar app for desktop computers?

To get all the benefits of using FineReader for iOS and answers to your most-asked questions, keep reading.

1. What is OCR, and what can I use it for?

Optical character recognition (OCR) is the process of converting printed text from paper documents into digital text, which can be edited on computers, smartphones, and other devices. OCR technologies make it possible to convert images of paper documents into digital, editable documents using a mobile device. Read more about this technology here.

Working with documents is much easier with OCR: you can take a picture of a document, use FineReader for iOS to convert the photo to a Word document and send it along in your workflow—no need to look for a scanner or type up the document by hand.

Have an urgent document to edit and review while you’re away from your desk? Convert documents from anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection. Are you on a business trip and want to show your colleagues some interesting presentations? Take pictures of the most interesting slides and send them together as a PDF. If you’re a student, protect your back and make your school bag lighter by converting your textbooks to searchable documents with OCR.

2. Sounds good, but when I try to recognize text, I get a bunch of weird characters instead of readable text. What did I do wrong?

Don’t panic! First, make sure you have the right OCR language selected, because FineReader for iOS won’t be able to recognize, say, English correctly if it is set up to recognize German text.

If the language selection is correct, take another picture and make sure the camera is steady, avoid glares, and that you have enough light. Good lighting makes the characters in the image sharper and produces better recognition results. Cleaning the camera lens may help, too. Find more scanning from your phone tips here.

3. Wait a minute, but what's the difference between FineReader OCR and a phone camera?

First, FineReader for iOS corrects the perspective and distortions on the photo. Even if you take a picture of a document at an angle, in the end you will get a scan without creases, shadows from your hand or device, and, most importantly, without an unnecessary background (e.g., grandma's beautiful tablecloth will not be displayed on the scan).

FineReader for iOS also has filters (grayscale, black-and-white, and color), which improves the appearance of the document, adding brightness and clarity. Finally, a substantial difference is that a camera does not prepare your document for export and printing and FineReader for iOS does. You can export the result as a multipage document, or a single page in JPEG format, like a picture.

4. Got it. So how many recognition languages does FineReader for Mobile have? Is there a list?

Our OCR technology recognizes 193 languages, which is the most extensive offering on the market. FineReader for Mobile recognizes Latin and Cyrillic languages, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and even artificial languages such as Esperanto. See the full list on the FineReader website.

5. Yay, it’s working! Does FineReader for Mobile work online or offline?

FineReader supports both offline and online text recognition. To process the text immediately, and as privately as possible, select “Plain Text” option in the “Extract Text” dialogue. After a couple of seconds, you will have a saved TXT file without the source formatting. The text recognition takes place on your device without any communication with the server and supports 63 languages offline. You can select up to three different languages for a single document.

If you need to keep the source formatting, use online recognition. To do this, select “Preserve text formatting”. When online, 193 languages are supported, and you can save your results in one of the 12 available document formats. When using the online recognition function, processing is done over the internet, meaning the task might take some time.

FineReader Mobile FAQs

6. How does ABBYY ensure the security of my data and documents online? Are my documents kept private?

Yes, each user is issued a unique identifier that is used to establish a secure connection to our server using HTTPS encryption. This prevents anyone except you from accessing your documents, receipts, or books. Additionally, we anonymize all uploaded data and delete all processed files from our servers once you have received your OCR results.

7. I got a new phone. Do I need to buy my ABBYY apps all over again?

No. If your new smartphone is the same operating system as your old one, just follow the instructions for iOS devices here

8. FineReader for Mobile made my life easier! Do you have a similar app for desktop computers?

Yes, we do! Furthermore, you may continue working with documents on your computer with free versions of FineReader for Windows and FineReader for Mac.

9. Why is it worth purchasing FineReader for iOS?

For OCR technologies, the quality and precision of the recognition technology is especially important because otherwise you can waste more time on correcting the mistakes than had you manually typed the text. FineReader for Mobile saves you a lot of time, which is extremely valuable, and protects you from mistakes associated with manual input of information.

Don’t just take our word for it. The app has been recognized many times by respected international publications—the latest is by PCMag, who awarded FineReader for Mobile with the Editors’ Choice badge for its “excellent performance and feature depth”. The highly qualified team behind FineReader for iOS includes several members who have four degrees each, members who have PhDs, and even a Doctor of Science.

FineReader for iOS is regularly updated with improved OCR capabilities and user experience, as well as added support for the latest iOS features.

In addition to saving time and money, FineReader for iOS cuts paper waste, makes scanning easier, and shows that you stay up to date with the latest tech. At ABBYY, we develop industry-leading solutions to reimagine the way people work, using technology for monotonous tasks to give you more free time to spend on higher-value projects, or with your family and friends. 

Try FineReader for iOS, the first AI-powered scanner to quickly capture docs and books, create copies in PDF and JPEG, and extract texts from scans.

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