Fresh, fast and on the fly: 6 benefits of mobile scan apps

When was the last time you sat down at a desktop computer to do something that you instead could do on your phone? When your mobile device gives you the ability to post a photo of your lunch to social media; connect with a colleague anywhere in the world; apply for a job; read the news; order pizza delivery; print a document to review and more, stopping to find a tethered computer can seem like an act that belongs in the last century.

As users increasingly favor mobility and digital workflows for both work and personal business, they need the ability to complete all the same tasks on their phone or tablet that they could do at a desktop computer, using tools that work together seamlessly and boost convenience and productivity. This user preference for on-the-go accessibility and efficiency has led to the rise of one of the latest digital trends: mobile scan apps.

6 Benefits of Mobile Scan Apps

Before the latest mobile scan apps arrived on the scene, a user could only employ a scanner tethered to a computer to scan in content. This meant that the user needed to be sitting (or standing) at a wired computer -- not ideal for users who prefer to handle business and personal tasks from a mobile device.

Now, the newest mobile scan apps unlock the convenience of scanning at work, at home or on the go by streamlining the scanning process, allowing users to scan directly from their scanner or multi-function printer (MFP) to an Android device.

This is beneficial for multiple reasons:

It brings a core function of a computing environment to mobile. Printing and scanning are core functions of both workplace and home office environments -- as well as personal lives -- and mobile scan apps give users the ability to access the same print/scan functions on their handheld mobile devices as they can on their desktops.

It is convenient. Mobile scan apps create a seamless transition between mobile device and desktop, and hard copies and digital documents. Instead of waiting until she is near a desktop computer or printer to convert a document from print to digital, a user can scan it immediately and send it from a phone.

Users demand mobile scan. In a recent study on millennial habits, 60 percent of respondents indicated when it comes to digitally capturing print documents, they would prefer to use a scanner over simply taking a photograph with their cell phone. In addition, more than 80 percent of respondents said that they used email to send documents electronically. Of those, almost 70 percent used their mobile device to send those documents, and 23 percent upload them to cloud storage.

Mobile scan enables flexibility and productivity. Mobile scanning offers several benefits, such as the ability to save files on a mobile device, in the cloud or straight to a mobile app.

The latest scan apps keep users right within the same workflow by connecting to commonly used tools; users can send their scanned files directly to email, file browsers, document viewers, or cloud services like Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive and more. New apps also offer a wide range of universal settings options like resolution, color, file format and custom scan areas.

It connects remote employees with the home office and each other. Mobile scan can help employees who are working far from each other feel like they’re just a cubicle away from coworkers.

Many employees work from home at least part of the work week, and some work remotely on a daily basis, or while on the road. As long as there is scan hardware and Wi-Fi where the employee is -- even if it’s in a co-working space or hotel business center -- another colleague can send the employee a document, and the employee can print and mark it up before scanning it and sending it back to their colleague.

It offers higher quality than taking a photo. Taking a photo of something and sending it via text or email from a mobile device is perfectly acceptable in many situations, but a business environment often demands both quality and speed. A more formal document usually doesn’t look as good in photo form than an actual scanned image.

With mobile scan, a business user instead can connect their phone or tablet to scanners and multi-function printers on the same Wi-Fi network and then use their device to scan, adjust settings, organize and rename the scan before sending it to colleagues. It’s just as fast as a photo, but much better quality.

Mobile Scan Meeting the Demand

Mobile scanning is more important now than ever, and research shows the increasing demand for digital document scanning and sharing on mobile devices. With the enhanced usability of archived documents, mobile scanning increases the efficiency of the process while also enabling new collaborative and remote use cases.

Mobile scan apps make things easier for business users as well as consumers, for tasks like contract management, expense reports, couponing, and shopping via reward apps that require users to scan a receipt.

Users are likely to find the most convenience and functionality from apps that fall under a universal mobile scan standard, because all major scanner manufacturers have contributed to ensuring the app works with their products. Additionally, with the vendor agnosticism of a universal standard, users won’t have to download multiple apps for multiple scanners, which can be a hassle and eat up storage and screen icon space on a mobile device.

With the latest mobile scan apps supporting new use cases every day, businesses and consumers have new ways to be productive and efficient from their preferred mobile device, managing and sending content from anywhere and everywhere.

Photo credit: Volodymyr Kalyniuk/ Shutterstock

Alan Berkema is a distinguished technologist in the technical working group at HP Inc. Berkema can be reached at alan-c.berkema@hp.com. Ross Friesen is a senior engineer at HP Inc. Friesen can be reached at ross.friesen@hp.com.

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