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One hidden iPhone and iPad feature you'll use over and over again

One hidden iPhone and iPad feature you'll use over and over again
© MrFly | Dreamstime

As you probably know by now, that camera in your smartphone is amazing. From its humble beginnings as a low-resolution option on feature phones to the high definition, pixel-packed dual-lens arrays of today, the phone camera's evolution from just a novelty function to an indispensable tool is outstanding.

There are many cool ways you can use your smartphone camera that don't involve photos. Try looking up UPC barcodes, translate languages or even play games via augmented reality, that little photographic powerhouse in your pocket can do so much more than capture the fleeting moments of your life.

One of the most productive ways of using your smartphone's camera is to use it as a portable, pocket document scanner. In fact, various apps like Evernote Scannable, Google Drive. and Adobe Scan have been providing this functionality to iPhones and iPad for some time now.

However, with iOS 11, you can finally uninstall these third-party document scanning apps. Apple now has a built-in document scanner within its own Notes app.

iOS 11 Document Scanner

If you already have iOS 11, activating its built-in document scanner is easy. Just open the Notes app then while on a note, hit the plus symbol in the upper right side of the keyboard.

This will open up a menu with various options such as "Add Sketch," "Take a Photo" or import from the "Photo Library."  You'll notice that right above all these other options is "Scan Document." Just select that to start scanning.

Once the scanner is activated, your iPhone or iPad's camera will ask to point at the document you want to save. Although its default mode is in color, you can also scan in grayscale or black and white. Another option is "Photo" for taking normal pictures without exiting out of document scanning mode.

To scan the document, just hold your iPhone or iPad at the document and it will start scanning once it's in focus. You can also manually tap its shutter button to capture the document immediately.

If you do it manually, you can move the scanner's four corner points to match the document's edges. Notes can even automatically straighten things out if you end up capturing a document from an angle so don't fret if the edges aren't lined up perfectly.

Once a scan is complete, you can proceed and scan other pages or, if you're done, just hit "Save" on the bottom-right corner of the app to insert your scan on the note you're in.

After saving, you can use Markup mode to add drawings, annotations or signatures to the document and share or save it to third-party apps as usual.

What do you think? Are you going to use iOS 11 Notes document scanner all the time? Drop us a comment!

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