Sunday, 22 January 2012

WorldCard Mobile iPhone app review

Welcome back after the new year holidays. This is my first review for 2012. And I am starting the year with WorldCard Mobile app for iPhone from Penpower.

Do you work on the corporate environment? Do you get business cards from people you meet every day? Are you tired of typing in all the data into your iPhone? Then you should have a look at WorldCard Mobile. These guys have been working in all kind of optical character recognition devices and software so they really know how to make good software for it.

Let's have a look at the app.

The app first screen is quite simple. The main screen has a Camera button in the center to start capturing a card, but you can also retrieve an already taken picture from your gallery (Photos), or even recognize the data in an email signature that you have previously copied from an email (Signature). Finally you can have a look at your card collection (Card Holder).

We will not check how to grab a card with the built in camera button. Please note that I have intentionally blurred personal details from the business cards (understand that I had to do it for privacy issues). 

You are presented with the built in capture screen. You can activate the flash here to get a better picture. On the bottom bar you have the capture button, an option to stabilize the picture and a button to capture more than one card.

Once you have captured the card you get to the screen to recognize the card. You can there select the language of the card from the left bottom, you can turn 90 degrees the card and finally you can apply an auto improvement to get a better recognition. Once you are ready you press the top right button "Recognize" and there you go.

Next you are presented with a contact card to check the recognition success. For each field you select you can see in the lower part the area of the picture where the data comes from. You can correct the data if needed. I have found it quite reliable, however I had some problems with the "_" character not being recognized properly sometimes. Just make sure that the light conditions and the picture is as sharp as possible.

You can also select some area of the card and set it as contact picture (in case the picture contains a contact picture or the logo of the company). Very nice detail.

Also you can go back to the business card and select manually the data and then assign that data to the right field (in case it has not been automatically done). That way I got my "_" character recognized properly from my business card.

Once you are ready press export to save it into your Card Holder or press Discard to try again.

I find the app very accurate and really useful in the business environment, either if you get often those business cards or eventually. It is nice to have all the time in your pocket a business card scanner.

The second option from the main menu is the signature recognition. First you go to an email or any text where the signature appears. Then you copy past the whole signature and you open WorldCard Mobile app. Select the Signature option and the app will retrieve automatically the content of the clipboard and present it to you. Then just press Recognize button from the top right corner and there you have it. The app will try to guess what each field is and will present the info in a contact card that you can then save.

 Finally the Card Holder contains all the cards you have captured and the info on it. The app keeps the picture of the card so you can at any time check the contact card, capture or re-capture some information, logo, etc. Very convenient. On landscape mode you can use cover flow to scroll through your cards. You can also classify the cards in different groups (upper right button)

From the Card Holder you have several options. You can backup your database to iCloud or to Drobox. And if you need to share a contact, you can do it through email or text message. But you can also open it with another app, export them through, import them through iTunes, Gmail Contacts and even CSV Excel compatible file. 

Another useful thing from the WorldCard database is that actually you do not need to merge these Card contacts with your iPhone contacts if you don't want. You can keep them as a separate database that you can manage within the WorldCard Mobile app. And if you want you can select the option to save it into Contacts app.

 As a summary:

I like
  • Useful
  • Fast
  • Many export options
  • Own database that can be backup in iCloud or Dropbox
  • Sharing options

I don't like
  • Not 100% reliable recognitions
  • User Interface feels a little bit messy sometimes
  • Pricey

If this app is for you, go ahead and buy it from AppStore here. It will cost you $6.99 but if you use business cards often this might be worth the price. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Have had this App for several months and had captured over 100 business cards. This data has now been lost without any iPhone software upgrade. Very, very disappointing. Not a reliable program.