Mobility

Adobe goes mobile with Scan app and expanded electronic signature features

Adobe just announced a ramp-up of its cloud-centered offerings with a new OCR scanning app and mobile-first changes to its esignature platform.

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Image: Adobe

Adobe has announced an all-new mobile scanning app with one advantage over the competition: It does OCR for free.

Along with the release of the new Scan app are ease-of-use changes to Adobe Sign, Adobe's esignature platform, and new and expanded partnerships for Adobe Document Cloud.

Scan is available now for iOS and Android, while Sign and Document Cloud's new features are live as well.

Adobe Scan: Finally a free mobile OCR product

Adobe isn't breaking any ground with its new Scan app, but it is changing the mobile scanning/PDF creation game in a big way by offering free OCR conversion. There's no shortage of mobile text capturing apps available but most have one thing in common: They scan for free but OCR costs extra.

Adobe Scan captures images just as well as competitors and then uploads them to Adobe Document Cloud, where it automatically performs OCR on them free of charge. Once scanning is complete, text in the PDF can be selected and copied in Acrobat on both mobile devices and Windows/macOS.

SEE: Mobile device computing policy (Tech Pro Research)

Scan is powered by Sensei, Adobe's machine learning platform, and it can also perform OCR on images you've captured previously. That means you can finally get rid of those pictures you took of a PowerPoint presentation and get selectable, copyable text from them without paying for it.

Adobe Sign heads to the cloud

Sign, Adobe's digital signature product, is getting cloud-based digital signature support, which Adobe says is a world first. Sign is also compliant with the Cloud Signature Consortium's open standard, meaning that it meets legal esignature standards while still allowing users to sign from any browser or mobile device.

SEE: Leveraging the power of digital signatures (TechRepublic)

Adobe customers who use Sign will benefit from the changes starting today, and the reported benefits look promising:

  • Cross-device signature capturing lets signers review a document on their computer and sign on a touchscreen device.
  • Business users can create branded email templates to go along with documents for signature.
  • Business stamp support is being added so that signers and businesses can add acknowledgement stamps, company seals, and even personal identifiers like Japanese Hanko.
  • Document processing workflow customization has also been added for tasks like acceptance, review, and form filling.
  • Sign has integrated with Adobe Scan, allowing esignature requests to be added to scanned and OCR-processed documents.

Signature integrations have also been announced for SharePoint Online, Service Now, Apttus, and Salesforce, with rollout planned for the coming months.

The three big takeaways for TechRepublic readers:

  1. Adobe has released a new mobile document scanning app called Adobe Scan. It is similar in use and function to other mobile scanning apps with one large difference: It does OCR conversion free of charge.
  2. Several usability changes for Sign, Adobe's electronic signature platform, were also announced. Cross-device signature capturing, custom templates, document stamping, and workflow customization are all being added.
  3. Scan is available on iOS and Android now, and several new Adobe Sign features are also available today. Integrations with other third-party platforms are coming over the next few months.

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About Brandon Vigliarolo

Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.

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