Office Lens, which debuted on Windows Phone in March 2014, lets you use your phone’s camera to take pictures of text. The pocket scanner recognizes corners of a document, whiteboard, electronic screen, or any rectangular media. It automatically crops, straightens, enhances, and cleans up the image, then enables saving to OneNote or OneDrive for easy retrieval from any device.
Office Lens arrived on iPhone and in preview for Android phones in April. The Android version had a preview, as is typical when Microsoft releases new mobile apps, because there are simply many more kinds of Android devices to test for.
Microsoft said more than 130,000 Google+ community previewers tried the app out in preview. These beta testers represented 270 makes of phones and just under 2,600 models.
Because of all this testing, Microsoft said it was able to make user experience refinements that allowed Android phone owners to get a feature previously only available on Windows Phone: saving Office Lens images to multiple sources at the same time (such as OneDrive and Word). On the iPhone, you have to save to each source manually.
Here is the full feature list across all three platforms:
- Converts images of paper documents, electronic screens and whiteboard notes into Word documents, PowerPoint presentations and searchable PDF files for easy storage, editing and reformatting.
- Enables images to be sent via email, making it easy to share whiteboard notes with work colleagues, submit scanned business expense receipts or ensure family and friends have copies of important paper documents.
- Captures business cards and generates contacts, which can be sent to OneNote and added to your phone.
- Recognizes the corners of a document and automatically crops, enhances and cleans up the image.
- Identifies printed text with optical character recognition (OCR) so that you can search by keyword for the image in OneNote or OneDrive.
- Inserts images to OneNote or as DOCX, PPTX or PDF files in OneDrive, providing options to save, export and share the image.
Microsoft also shared first-month download numbers: more than 1.3 million for iPhone and 70,000 for the Android preview. To date, Windows Phone users have totaled 3.5 million Office Lens downloads.