This review is part of the Smartphone Scanner Review series, where I compare the top-rated smartphone scanner apps for Android. Many of these apps also have Apple iPhone versions which may have slightly different operation or features.
Genius Scan by The Grizzly Labs is a smartphone scanner app with free and paid versions. This is a review of the free version, which contains advertising and fewer features than the paid version.
Here’s a 60-second video demonstrating the most common use of the app. In this video, I scan two pages and attach them to an email as a PDF file.
All videos in this series show the same task for each app. I edited out pop-up advertisements, sped up portions of the video and made other small edits to make each video run in under 60 seconds. It’s notable that the Office Lens and Genius Scan demos did not require any edits. I was able to perform the complete process in less than one minute, and Office Lens only took 45 seconds. Many of the others required double that time or more.
Full Review Notes
Advertisement and Limitations
The free version of Genius Scan included banner ads at the bottom of most screens and is missing several features included in the paid version:
- Genius Cloud (a backup and sync system)
- Several export options
- Google Drive
- Password protection of your PDFs
- Document renaming
- Ability to change your email signature
The capture system for Genius Scan is smarter than most of the other apps I’ve reviewed. Many of the scanner apps on the market appear to use very similar open-source components that do an adequate job, which is why they generally look very similar.
Genius Scan is clearly using their own system. The camera preview automatically shows an orange overlay on the detected page, helping you adjust the image for the best capture. In Manual mode you get this preview and them press the large button to snap the image. In Magic mode, you simply hold still for a few seconds and Genius Scan captures the image without any input. In both modes you can fine-tune the cropping later.
Batch capture returns you to the camera to capture another image after each page is cropped. Single capture takes you to the edit screen after each page. Choose whatever works best for you.
A combination of Batch capture in Magic mode allows you to capture pages nearly as fast as you can turn the page.
Genius Scan keeps document editing simple. You can quickly rotate and recrop using the edit menu,
select from four enhancement settings,
and, adjust the page format.
Genius Scan doesn’t attempt more complicated editing like contrast levels, signatures, overlays or stickers. I didn’t feel like I was missing anything, all my scans worked well, even in low light.
Saving & Sharing
When exporting a document, choose between PDF and JOG and select document compression if needed. Password encryption is reserved for the paid version, along with most of the sharing methods.
Sharing to your phones memory and email are the only real options for the free version. Fax is a link to their Genius Fax product. Bluetooth and other built-in sharing options on your phone aren’t included. You can save to Device Memory and then share via the phone’s built-in methods, but it’s a two-step process.
Genius Scan really shines in the capture and editing process. The Magic capture method is very nice. Editing is streamlined and doesn’t have unnecessary features. The limited sharing methods in the free version is a prompt to purchase Genius Scan+ for $4.99. The banner ads are unobtrusive and didn’t bother me. If you are satisfied with email sharing and need a quality scanner app with excellent capture capabilities, Genius Scan is above average.