Remote and Mobile 2020

While we are all eagerly awaiting the end of 2020, it’s also a fitting time to reflect on the most important Mobile-related events of the past 365 days, including the mass exodus from offices due to the pandemic, some notable statistics, and useful updates to our apps. We’ve also prepared a small New Year’s present for all of our readers, which you will find at the end of this post, so read on.

While working from home…

We’re all yearning to get back to our busy offices, where we can meet and talk to our colleagues in person, just like in the good old days. Sadly, this is not yet an option at the time of publication of this post. So remote work it is. However, we hope our FineScanner, Business Card Reader, and TextGrabber apps will help you organize your work and become more productive while working from your home office.


Even in this digital age, some important texts still require physical papers. Most of us don’t own a flat-bed scanner and, frankly, there’s just not enough space on our desks for another unwieldy piece of digital equipment. One workaround is to take pictures of the documents with your mobile phone, but the resulting photos will most likely fall short of your expectations. The page on the photo may not be exactly rectangular, the text may be too blurred, and you aren’t able to save the photo as a PDF. However, you can easily turn your phone into a real mobile scanner just by installing the right app!

The name of the app is FineScanner. Follow these recommendations and your document pictures will look as good as scans. With FineScanner, you and your colleagues will be able to share scans of paper documents using your smartphones. With just one tap of the “Recognize” button, you can convert your scan to any of the 12 supported document formats. The app supports 193 languages and retains all the formatting of the original (note: this feature requires an active Internet connection). When you’re offline, you will be able to convert scans in 63 languages to TXT. FineScanner will also intelligently pick out text documents from your gallery and ignore your selfies and pics of funny pets.

Some documents may require your signature. In lockdown conditions, the first solution that comes to mind is to print out the document, sign it, and send it off by courier. Luckily, FineScanner for iOS makes things much easier. All you need to do is open the document in the app, add your signature, and email the signed document to its intended recipient. See the ABBYY Tip in this post for detailed instructions on how to sign documents directly in the iOS app.

FineScanner App

FineScanner also offers a set of note-making tools, allowing you to highlight errors, make edits, or permanently remove confidential fragments.

If you can’t remember when you last sanitized your phone, you can ask Siri to open your documents and perform the required actions (like sending them by e-mail, for example).

Business Card Reader

In 2020, personal meetings and offline events have become an exception, with people moving to Zoom and similar platforms. If you find yourself at a regular in-person meeting, however, be sure to take the necessary precautions to protect your own health and the health of other participants. For example, use the Business Card Reader app for contactless exchange of digital business cards.

While we’re cooped up in our homes, why not spend some time and put our business contacts in order? Instead of thumbing through hundreds of conventional business cards, you can digitize them and make them fully searchable on your mobile phone, where they can be sorted alphabetically and put into easily identifiable categories. With Business Card Reader, it takes just a few taps to capture your contacts from paper business cards if you follow these recommendations. You will be able to place your cards in a digital cardholder, save your contacts to the contacts on your phone, or export them to Salesforce.

For your convenience, there are versions of BCR for smartphones, tablets, desktop computers, and Apple Watch. You can sync your contact data across all of your devices via an ABBYY Cloud account.

And here’s our YouTube playlist where you can find all of our Business Card Reader tutorials.

With most schools and universities now teaching online, students use various mobile apps designed to help them with their studies. TextGrabber is one such app. Students (and anyone else, of course) can use it to translate small text fragments from one language into another. For example, you can load a picture of a text snippet or a screenshot of text to be translated, or just point your camera to a page in your textbook to get translations in real time.

Another area where the app may prove useful during lockdown is in your kitchen. With it, you can easily digitize recipes from cookbooks, magazines or websites (even from Instagram, which is notorious for not letting its users copy texts). You can even translate a recipe if it is written in a language you are not very familiar with. Save your favorite dishes in TextGrabber notes or export them into any note-taking app of your choice.

To speed up the entire process, you can create a voice command for Siri (see this post for detailed instructions).

Quantifying the benefits

TextGrabber stats

BCR stats

FineScanner stats

Very impressive, isn’t it? We very much hope that ABBYY’s mobile apps have helped you streamline your document flows and put your business contacts in order and that you’ve had no trouble translating texts from your language course books.

ABBYY mobile support stats

We do like hearing from you and will respond to virtually all of your feedback in the App Store and Google Play. Not only that, but we have been doing our best to translate your feedback into new and improved features, but there is always room for improvement. To make our communication with you even more productive, we’ve added a “Mobile Apps” section on the ABBYY Community website. We invite you to share your thoughts and discuss your ideas with other members of the community there. Your feedback will help us repair any glitches you may encounter, and do this in the shortest time possible.

abbyy apps stats

Recapping the new features

Not long ago, we dedicated an entire post to the major updates for our apps released in 2020. Here’s a brief overview of the new features and improvements in FineScanner and Business Card Reader.

FineScanner Android

FineScanner iOS

  • Export to OneDrive for Business

FineScanner iOS & Android

  • Ability to delete multiple documents
  • Improved auto-crop

Business Card Reader iOS

  • Ability to exchange business cards via QR codes
  • Ability to edit data in address fields
  • Ability to locate addresses on a map

For more details of all the new features, please see this page.

Remember that survey?

In the first half of 2020, we conducted a global survey among 1600 users of ABBYY mobile apps. We wanted to better understand the impact of the quarantine had on the way people work.

Here are some insights we found:

advantages of remote work stats

remote work productivity stats

Visit this page to see all results.

Present time!

Thank you for reading so far down this post. Finally, here’s a small New Year’s present – a promo code that gives you free access to a Premium TextGrabber account for a period of three months. To activate your code, follow the instructions below. This is easier than unwrapping a present!

  1. Follow this link to install the app from the App Store or Google Play.
  2. Open the installed app and click the [i] icon in the menu.
  3. Tap and hold the “About” option until you see a dialog box inviting you to enter your promo code.
  4. Enter this code: TGNY21

That’s it! Now you can access your Premium TextGrabber account.

The promo code must be activated by 28 February 2021.

We wish you a very happy 2021! Of course, the world won’t be the same, but please take care of yourselves, stay calm, reach new heights, and continue adopting the latest technology (this is our future, after all, as 2020 has clearly shown). Hopefully, it won’t be long before we can safely meet our colleagues and friends in person.

Wishing you a very happy New Year,
ABBYY Mobile team

Mobile Enterprise

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