8 business card apps for smartphones: Scan 'em and store 'em

Tired of losing business cards? With these apps, your smartphone can do the heavy lifting.

FoxCard Pro-Professional Business card scanner

FoxCard’s Pro-Professional Business card scanner requires iOS 8 or later and is compatible with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

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The app, which has been downloaded more than 100 million times, can identify cards instantly, save them to contacts and add photos, image-texts and remarks for each one. The scanner function automatically snaps a photo of a card and has a batch-mode option that allows for image capture of  multiple cards.

FoxCard also offers an in-app management tool to categorize email and text, and to share or delete contacts. A cloud-based database is provided to sync contacts across multiple devices.

The app can also translate text from English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish.

One drawback: the app does not work as a social networking tool with other FoxCard users. You cannot add digital features to your current business card or share your business card digitally with other users of the app.

FoxCard also notes that once a user buys the app, the annual $9.99 price auto-renews each year unless the user turns that option off.

Conclusions

Of the apps I tested, all had occasional bloopers when translating the text on the card to workable digital text. But only a few really got the job done.

CamCard was the only app that had a truly useful free version. The other apps either had usability issues, or limited the free version to a degree where it was useful only if you wanted to vet the interface before paying for the full app. And virtually none of the apps was prepared to recognize social media sites listed on a business card: an "@name" was missed by all seven apps, and only CamCard had a field you could even add manually for Twitter.

After using these apps extensively, I'd point to CamCard as the best choice overall. It generally did well on scans, and made it easy to edit out the bloopers. And its Web component makes it a compelling and versatile option.

ABBYY's Business Card Reader offers easy-to-navigate design and quality scans, two points that put it towards the head of the pack as well.

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