Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Neat app scans receipts from your phone


The people at The Neat Company are on a mission to banish document clutter. They started with NeatDesk, a $400 desktop scanner that would read and categorize all sorts of documents, from bills and invoices to restaurant receipts. Last year, they released NeatReceipts, a $175 portable version made for scanning receipts on the go.

Now they have made capturing receipts and business cards even easier by upgrading the free NeatMobile app that puts a scanner and OCR capability on your iPhone or Android device. With the mobile app, you can take a picture of a restaurant receipt and Neat will identify the restaurant name, the date and amount charged and assign the data to an expense category. It will do the same trick with a business card.

If the app's built-in OCR program doesn't get everything right, you can trigger NeatVerify, which will submit your image to Neat's staff of human editors who make sure the captured text is correct. 

Where does the text and images go? Neat stores everything in its NeatCloud where it's accessible from any computer browser and where it is merged with data collected through other Neat products. Importing data from other cloud services, such as Dropbox or Evernote, is an option. Unfortunately, I could find no easy way to export data from a scanned business card to Outlook or Apple Contacts.

While the app itself is free, the cloud and the verify services aren't. After a 30-day free trial, NeatCloud costs either $14.99 or $29.99 a month, or slightly less if you pay for a full year. Having your scans verified costs one credit and you can get 30 credits for $4.99 a month.


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Follow me on Twitter @ricmanning and read my technology columns at My Well Being.


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