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Google Docs Android app: Use your camera to scan text to docs

We’ve been able to access Google Docs on most smartphones for a while now, logging in through the web browser, but Google have now released a specialised app on Android phones for their cloud-based MS Office substitute.

You can expect it to do most things you could previously accomplish on your PC, with the clever addition of OCR technology. Optical character recognition means Google will translate your picture of text into real text, and then embed it into a Google Doc; where you’ll be able to edit it, or even copy and paste to an email.

We found the better the camera, the better the results. We tested it on a Samsung Galaxy S2, and found that it was pretty spot-on. It won’t recognise the more avant-garde fonts or handwriting, but we’ll forgive Google for that- we often have the same problem.

Not everything gets ported across to the Android app; although you can create, write and edit text and spreadsheets, presentations remain for your eyes only.

There’s also no offline mode- the OCR magic also requires a network connection to work, but it does give you an extra word processing option if you’ve forgotten your laptop or your battery has died.

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