Why I won’t be using Adobe Scan


Adobe Scan is a new application for Android by Adobe that turns the device’s camera into a scanner with text recognition (OCR) support.

Basically, what it enables you to do is scan anything with text, recipes, notes, documents, business cards, newspaper articles, use OCR to identify the text, and save it as an Adobe PDF document.

Adobe Scan is not the first application that offers this functionality, but the name Adobe may convince some users to give the application a try, or favor it over other solutions.

I read about Adobe Scan and found the application interesting enough to give it a try. I checked the Google Play Store page of the app,  and it is listed there as free with in-app purchases.

I made the decision to install the app on my Android device, and while that worked well, was greeted with a sign in or sign up page on start.

Turns out that Adobe Scan requires you to create an Adobe Document Cloud account. The terms & conditions on the Google Play Store entry highlight as much:

Use of Adobe Scan requires registration for a free Adobe ID as part of a basic Adobe Document Cloud membership.

adobe scan camscanner

Mandatory account registration is usually not something that I like, but if a service is good, I bite and do it. My main issue with Adobe Scan is however that all your scanned documents land in Adobe’s cloud.

There is no freaking option to save the document locally only. This means that anything that you scan, receipts, prescriptions, personal notes, business documents, lands on Adobe servers automatically.

I understand that saving documents on the cloud has its advantages. You can access the documents from any device with access to the account for instance, and can download it to any of your devices this way easily.

Still, I won’t use an application that forces registration and cloud saving on me.

CamScanner does it better

You can check out CamScanner instead to see how it is handled in a much better way. CamScanner is probably the most popular phone camera to PDF scanning application for Android.

CamScanner displays options to sign in or up as well when you start the app, but you can skip that step as well to use it without account. The free version of CamScanner is good enough for using your camera to scan anything, use filters like the very handy black and white filter, to make the output as readable as possible, use OCR on the document, and to store it on the local device.

You can sign up or link the service to online services for cloud saving functionality, but you don’t have to. That’s one of the core differences to Adobe Scan.

Now You: How do you handle services with forced registration, or cloud only saves?