Review: TouchOCR is quick and easy to use but not always accurate | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

Review: TouchOCR is quick and easy to use but not always accurate

Translate text from photographs with a couple of quick swipes on your iPhone.

TouchOCR is a stripped-down scan and transcription tool for the iPhone that allows you to take photos and then convert the text in those images to straight font-based text on your device. While this works some of the time, there are some issues related to the way the app is set up and the accuracy of the OCR transcriptions.

When you open the app for the first time, you won't find any instructions, but there are limited options, so it's easy to get started relatively quickly. Select the "Photo" button and you can take an image of something with text written on it. After taking a photo, you can highlight the text in that image to tell the app what you'd like to transcribe. A red box will appear to show what you've highlighted. Finally, tap the "recognise" button and it will process and show you the text. The problem is that the transcribed text didn't always work. Part of this is due to lighting and clarity, but without any tools to affect these things there are limited options here in terms of how effectively you are able to take and transcribe images.

TouchOCR has a great interface because it is so straightforward. Not bogged down by extra menus, buttons, share tools, or other distractions, you can take and transcribe images in seconds. But be sure to take those images in full light and as clearly as possible because the actual transcriptions in our tests were rarely 100 percent accurate, and sometimes half or more of the text would be transcribed inaccurately. When we moved under a lamp and took time taking photos to ensure they were clear, these problems were mitigated to some degree, but never all the way.

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