The simplest way to make sure that you don't forget recipes, famous quotes or some nice lyrics is to quickly take a picture of them on your phone. However, what do you do when you actually want to just use the text from the image and not the photo itself? You could manually transcribe the text, but that can be very time-consuming. If you use an Android phone, here are some of the best apps that can automatically recognize and save the text from your photos.
As far as I'm concerned, one of the best text recognition tools for casual users is Google Keep. The main purpose for this application is to help you easily create notes and reminders on anything you see. You can create as many notes as you want to either by typing them and using voice commands or by taking pictures and adding captions to them. To use Google Keep's OCR capabilities, simply take a picture using the application or import one you already have, then tap the app's menu (the three vertical dots) and choose the Grab image text option. The application will then analyze the picture (this might take a while) and let you automatically add the text to the note. Once that's done, you can easily view the text, copy it, save it in a different document and share it with whoever you want to.
Mobile OCR is one of the highest-rated text recognition tools on the Android market. Not only is this application very effective, but it's also easier to use than you would imagine. The app is fully capable of working with 25 languages including English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Chinese, Hindi, etc. To use Mobile OCR, all you have to do is select the language used, choose one of the pictures from your gallery or take a new one and press the convert button. The application will analyze your picture, then extract the text and display it on the screen. If you're satisfied, simply tap the Copy to clipboard button, and you can paste the text wherever you want to.
Another reliable solution, Text Fairy, is one of the fastest OCR apps on Android. Beside its speed, I also really like the fact that the application will automatically enhance your picture, making its text recognition even more accurate. (This won't work in every case, but if the quality of your photo is average or above, it's going to have a high success chance.) Additionally, Text Fairy can write the output text in one or two columns, embeds text-to-speech capabilities to read (out loud) the texts that it extracts, offers support for multiple languages and will allow you to automatically save the result as a PDF document or copy it to your clipboard. And lastly, (for some unknown reason) this app is completely free, so you should definitely try it out.
Last on our list is one of the most accurate text recognition Android apps that I've seen: CamScanner. Why is it at the bottom of the list if it's so effective? Because it's a paid application, and you will need to spend $2 to unlock its full potential (that actually makes it great). However, if you decide to pay, the app will make your scanned documents searchable and will allow you to save the text they contain either as a PDF or in the TXT format. Lastly, CamScanner offers batch text extraction capabilities, a feature that will come in extremely handy when working with documents containing multiple pages.