Adobe just launched a free app that turns your phone into a document scanner

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Thanks to Adobe’s new app, you’ll never need to painstakingly scan documents ever again.

Called Adobe Scan, the app can snap photos of paper documents and turn them into PDFs on your phone, no scanner required.

The app uses what Adobe calls “advanced image-processing technology” powered by Sensei, Adobe’s artificial-intelligence and machine-learning arm, to take a photo and turn it into a PDF.

Once your document is scanned, the app will turn the text on the page into searchable digital text. You can highlight, annotate, and edit it, and the document uploads to the Adobe Document Cloud so you can access it on a desktop as well.

Here’s a video of the app in action:

I downloaded the app this morning and tried it, and the results are impressive.

After snapping a photo, the app will immediately crop out everything but the document and render it as a PDF in seconds. One thing to note, however, is that to edit or annotate the PDF on your phone, you’ll have to download the Adobe Acrobat app, which is also free.

Adobe Scan isn’t the first document-scanning app — TurboScan and CamScanner have been around for years. But many photo-scanning services don’t offer a free app, and not all offer the machine-learning element Adobe says it has built into its app. Plus, the Adobe app has the added benefit of tying directly into Adobe’s preexisting services.

Adobe Scan is similar to an app Google launched in November called PhotoScan, which digitizes film photos by scanning them and removing glare. The photos upload to your Google Photos library so you can access them on mobile and desktop.

While the apps do slightly different things, they have the same goal: ensuring you never again have to hunt down a scanner.

Adobe Scan is free to download and is available for both Android and iOS devices.

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