Apple’s revolutionary iPhone kills the business card

“If you want to do the business networking thing right, you’d better know who you met and when. Thank heavens keeping those pesky contacts straight is getting easier with a new generation of smartphone business card reader apps that turn your Apple iPhone… into an on-the-go, paperless business contact management tool,” Jonathan Blum reports for TheStreet.

“Smartphone business card readers are apps that can read and understand images, phone numbers, addresses and other info off business cards via photos taken by powerful cameras,” Blum reports. “Instead of taking a contact’s cards, stacking ’em up and transcribing them later — if you are especially diligent — you snap a picture of the card, feed it into the scanning app and confirm the information is correct. Then hand that card right back to your new business buddy.”

Blum reports, “Not surprisingly, business card readers have become hot apps on the iTunes App Store… But selecting the right one isn’t easy. Here are my picks for the latest and greatest in scanner apps:

• CamCard Business Card Reader
• DYMO CardScan Mobile
• ABBYY Business Card Reader

Full article, with description of and links for each of the apps listed above, here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Joe Architect” for the heads up.]


  1. Hmm…If someone is important I usually enter their contact info right away, on the first phone call.

    If they are not, I get a business card and toss them in the stack of other yellowing business cards.

    I’m not filling my phone with a bunch of worthless contact info, I don’t need to impress anyone scrolling through a mile long contact list.

    If I was a spammer I would see a need for a business card scanner…

  2. Funny thing is I’ve got SJ’s contact on my speed dial on my newly minted WP7 phone. Now isn’t that a hoot! I might even call the old bugger for lunch in Redmond one day, that is if he’ll leave his lair in 1 Infinite Loop for the pleasure of my company.

  3. I have tried all of these. While they are very handy, not a one of them permits you to scan and hand the card back. Each introduces its own errors into the OCR process, and each is better at some cards than others. This only works, for me anyway, if you are willing to scan, accept the errorts, associate the image of your new best friend with the flawed data, and then correct it later on. No one is going to stand there while you correct OCR inaccuracies and wait to get a card back.

  4. “Then hand that card right back to your new business buddy.”

    Then, business are not yet killed; at least one is still necessary. So, it seems these apps are just brain wash because a call from that buddy will work better to get contact info.

  5. Using the iPhone camera to snap photos of business cards is primitive. It will be a short-lived fad, soon to be replaced by near-field communications for data exchanges. QRCodes will also become obsolete after NFC arrives.

  6. In my opinion, CardSnap is the best app for handling business cards. Once you snap a photo of the business card, it is sent to ACTUAL PEOPLE, who verify the OCR transcription, and then they send back the info. Once you review it, the card info is loaded into your contacts. With a clear picture of the card, accuracy has been 100%. The only challenge is that you need to wait a few hours for the card to be processed.

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