Prizmo and TextDetective are optical charactor recognition (OCR) apps for the iPhone. These apps use the iPhone camera to take a picture of a document and then convert the text on the paper to digital text. Because the apps rely on the iPhone camera they work best on the iPhone 4S. The apps were compared using a complex image with multiple images and columns. Both apps were used in a room with good lighting. Watch the video above to learn more about each of the apps.
Prizmo costs $9.99 in the App Store. Click here to download Prizmo. Prizmo is the fastest most accurate user friendly OCR app that I have ever tested. It is designed for sighted users. It allows you to crop and edit the picture before you start the OCR process. Once the text has been recognized you can read it using text-to-speech, email it or copy the text. It is important to note that users with visual impairments may have a hard time taking pictures of the documents they want to OCR. It also is impossible for a visually impaired user to crop the document to improve the accuracy. That being said for sighted users very easy to use.
TextDetective costs $1.99 for a limited time. Click here to download TextDetective. TextDetective is designed for people with visual impairments. The app is designed to make taking a picture of a document easy for the visually impair. In my tests I had a hard time taking a clear picture of a whole document. I could successfully capture a clear picture of one or two paragraphs. TextDetective was less accurate and slower than Prizmo. One problem I found is that TextDetective only works in landscape orientation but most documents are in portrait orientation. The orientation of the app makes it difficult to take a crisp picture of the page. In all for only $1.99 TextDetective may be worth a try.
Apps Provided Complimentary To Reviewer