Microsoft scanning app Office Lens comes to iOS, Android

The company is continuing its cross-platform productivity push with the release of the free app to iPhone and Android phone users.

Mary Jo Foley
Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network.
Mary Jo Foley
2 min read

Office Lens (shown here in the iPhone version) enables users to take pictures of things like receipts, business cards and whiteboards, and save and share them in a variety of ways. Microsoft

Office Lens, a scanning app that's been a hit on Windows Phone, is coming to iOS and Android.

On Thursday, Microsoft made available a preview of the Android version of Office Lens in the Google Play Store. It also released to general availability Office Lens for iOS in the Apple App Store.

Both the Apple iOS and Google Android versions of Office Lens, like the Windows Phone version, are free.

Office Lens allows users to take pictures of receipts, business cards, whiteboards, sticky notes -- and, in my case, beer menus -- and save them to OneNote, Microsoft's note-taking app. OneNote also is free and available for Windows, Windows Phone, iOS, Android and on the Web.

Microsoft also enables users to convert saved Office Lens images to Word and PowerPoint documents, too.

Office Lens automatically crops, enhances and cleans up images. It also enables users to search for key words in the images via optical character recognition.

The Office Lens feature set is largely comparable across iOS and Android -- Apple's and Google's mobile operating systems -- and Windows Phone. But there are a few features in the Windows and Android versions that aren't in the iOS version. Specifically:

  • Auto classifier
  • Ability to capture multiple images and save at once
  • Explicit business card mode is not on iOS, but it can detect business card on the service side and process as business card and generate VCF (a file format standard)

Microsoft does plan to make additional features available across all the Office Lens versions in the future, however, a representative confirmed.

This story originally posted as "Microsoft brings Office Lens scanning app to iOS, Android" on ZDNet.