Microsoft Releases iOS, Android Versions of Its Office Lens App

The Office Lens app, which lets anyone turn their smartphone into a pocket scanner, is now available to Android and iPhone users, in addition to the Windows Phone users.

Microsoft Office Lens, document scanning, smartphones, iOS app, Android app, Windows Phone app

Microsoft's popular and free Office Lens app, which turns a smartphone into a pocket document scanner, is now being offered in Android and iOS versions.

The Office Lens app was initially unveiled in March 2014 for Windows Phone users alone, and it has become one of the most popular apps on the Windows Phone platform, according to the company. Now, Android and iOS users will also be able to use it once they download and install it, Microsoft announced in an April 2 post on its Office Blogs site.

"Office Lens is a handy capture app that turns your smartphone into a pocket scanner and it works with OneNote so you'll never lose a thing," the post states. "Use it to take pictures of receipts, business cards, menus, whiteboards or sticky notes—then let Office Lens crop, enhance and save to OneNote. Just like that—all the scanned images you capture from Office Lens are accessible on all your devices."

Apple iPhone users can download the new Office Lens for iPhone app for free from the Apple App Store, while Android users can download a preview version by signing up at in a special Office Lens Android Preview Google+ community that has been set up for the app's development. Android participants can click the "Join community" button in the upper right-hand corner of the site, and then click the "Become a Tester" link under the "about this community" link, according to the blog post.

"Bringing Office Lens to iPhone and Android is a significant step for extending OneNote capture capabilities to more devices and endpoints," Microsoft wrote. "Get it for your iPhone, Android phone or Windows Phone today—start scanning documents and whiteboards from the convenience of your phone, and let us know what you think in the comments below and at app store feedback."

For iPhone users, the new app recognizes the corners of a document and automatically crops, enhances and cleans up the image, according to Microsoft, while it can also identify printed text with optical character recognition (OCR) so users can search by keyword for the image in OneNote or OneDrive. It also converts images of paper documents and whiteboard notes into Word documents, PowerPoint presentations and PDF files for easy editing and reformatting and lets users capture business cards that can then generate contact details that can be added to their smartphone. The app also allows users to insert images into OneNote or OneDrive (as DOCX, PPTX, JPG or PDF format) and provides options to save, export and share the images.

The Android preview version of Office Lens Android will work with devices running Android Jelly Bean 4.1 and above, according to Microsoft. Once a user is enrolled as a tester in the Google+ community, they can download the Office Lens Preview from the Google Play Store.

As a tester, participants will receive test versions of Office Lens Preview through app updates, some of which "may be unstable and contain bugs," according to Microsoft. Testers can choose to leave the test at any time and return to the regular version of Office Lens Preview.