TextGrabber: Fast, Cheap, Accurate OCR app for iPhone


TextGrabber is a low cost OCR app for iPhone that quickly and accurately converts printed text into digital text that can be edited or read aloud using text-to-speech. Click here to download TextGrabber. The app is easy to use. Snap a photo of the text you want to read then crop the photo and finally read the text. TextGrabber only takes a few seconds to convert the printed text into a digital format. Once the text has been recognized you can have it read aloud to you using VoiceOver. TextGrabber can also translate captured text into many languages. One negative of TextGrabber is it does not have built in text-to-speech,  or Speak Selection, a new iOS 5 feature, does not work. In day-to-day use I found that TextGrabber and ZoomReader offer similar OCR speed and accuracy. To improve the accuracy turn on the flash while taking the picture. TextGrabber does not feature built in text-to-speech with highlighting while ZoomReader does not offer a cropping tool for removing unwanted text. To read more about ZoomReader click here. Click read more below to see screen shots and examples of TextGrabber in action,including a step- by -step depiction of TextGrabber converting a newspaper article.

Picture of Newspaper Article Taken with iPhone 4S camera.
Crop the Section You Want to Read
Press Read and Let it do its Work
Finish Product Ready to be Read by VoiceOver or Emailed.
Below is the text that was extracted. It is not perfect but is a par or better than most other OCR apps for iPhone.
^ Economic Slide Took A Detour at Capital Hill From Page Al group. Congress has never been place for paupers. From planta" tion owners in the pre-Civil War era to industrialists in the 1900s to ex-Wall Street financiers and Internet executives today, it has long been populated with"the rich, including scions of families like the Guggenheims, Hearsts. Kennedys and Rockefellers. But rarely has the divide ap- peared so wide, or the public con- trast so stark, between lawmak- ers and those they represent. The wealth gap may go largely unnoticed in good times. "But with the American public feeling all this economic pain, people just resent it more," said Alan J. Zio- browski, a professor at Georgia State who studied lawmakers' stock investments. There is broad debate about just why the wealth gap appears to be growing. For starters, the prohibitive costs of political cam- paigning may discourage the less affluent from even considering a candidacy. Beyond that, loose ethics controls, shrewd stock picks, profitable land deals, fa- vorable tax laws, inheritances and even marriages to wealthy spouses are all cited as possible explanations for the rising for- tunes on Capitol Hill. What is clear is that members of Congress are getting richer compared not only with the aver- age American worker, but also with other very rich Americans. While the median net worth of members of Congress jumped 15 percent from 2004 to 2010, the net worth of the richest 10 percent of Americans remained essentially Hat. For all Americans, median net worth dropped 8 percent, based on jnflation-adjusted data from Moody's Analytics. Going back further, the median wealth of House members grew some two and a half times be. tween 1984 and 2009 in inflation- adjusted dollars, while the wealth of'the average American family has actuaily declined slightly in that same time period, according Emmarie Huetteman and Derek Willts contributed rfmrtiw SJata cited by The Washington _'"an article published Mon- with millionaire status now the norm, the rarefied air in'the Capi- days is $100 million. lofty level appears to have surpassed by at least 10 members, led by Representative Issa, a California Repub- and former auto alarm mag- nate who is worth somewhere be- tween $195 million and $700 mil- lion. (Because federal law re- quires lawmakers to disclose their assets only in broad dollar ranges, more precise estimates are impossible.) Their wealth has created occa- sional political problems for Con- gress's richest. Mr. Issa, for instance, has faced outside scrutiny because of the overlap of his Congressional work and outside interests, in- eluding extensive investments with Wall Street firms like Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs, as well as land holdings in his San Diego district. In one case, he ob- tained some $800,000 in federal earmarks for a road-widening project running along his com- mercial property. Senator John Kerry, a Mas- sachusetts Democrat who is mar- ried to Teresa Heinz Kerry, set off an uproar last year when it was disclosed that he had docked his S7 million, 76-foot yacht not in his home state but in neighboring Rhode Island, which has no sales or use tax on pleasure boats. (Mr. Kerry, worth at least $181 million, voluntarily paid $400,000 in Mas- sachusetts taxes after criticism.) Representative Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, was challenged about her wealth, as much as $196 million, by a member of her own party a few weeks ago. Representative Laura Richardson, a California Demo- crat who is among the poorest members of Congress with as much as $464,000 in debt, at- tacked Ms. Pelosi at a closed- door Democratic caucus meeting for endorsing a Congressional pay freeze, according to a report in PoHtico that was confirmed by other members. Ms. Richardson angrily told M, n^i^n: ..i--
Article from New York Times

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