Does DevonThink for iPhone (downloaded from app store on Feb 20, 2021) allow me to scan into DevonThink

I assumed that DevonThink To Go (Says Just DevonThink) on my iPhone, enabled me to scan right into my database to be updated via sync. Is this true?

DEVONthink To Go does not come with all the functionality that other scan apps on iOS offer. But you can take a photo and run it through OCR. For more professional scanning we’d suggest using, e.g., Readdle Scanner Pro.

As @eboehnisch mentions “Scanner Pro” (which I have used and liked for years), the Files app that is native to IOS has a scanning feature, as does Dropbox’s app.


iOS has a build in document scanner and documents can be added to DTTG automatically.

  • open Files app
  • choose destination DTTG group/folder
  • click three dots in upper corner of menu on the left
  • click scan document

Perform OCR if necessary, now native to DTTG3

(Edit: don’t know how I managed to read over @rmschne ’s comment, but apparently I did :grinning:)


I really would wish there was an implemented scanning ability. Would make such a great workflow to scan documents directly into DTTG without using another app. But thanks for the tip with the files app - that seems to work well enough for now - at least I can save to DTTG directly.


Well, even if they licensed other software to include scanning, it would be “other” software . And then add in the costs to maintain and support that added software which is freely available already, along with some really good paid “other software” … I do hope DEVON Technologies don’t rush into the scanning business.

Consider adding scanning directly to the database. I personally rarely use my phone to look at files in a database. However I scan receipts a lot. To me that is the real value. So I probably made a mistake in the purchase. Thanks

That’s exactly how the IOS File scanner works now, saving to DEVONthink ToGo database.

Why don’t you just add a new Media document in DEVONthink To Go ?
iOS isn’t capable of actual scanning. It can only take pictures. Taking a picture of a receipt in DEVONthink To Go and running OCR on it should be sufficient.

Slightly more, there’s automatic edge recognition of pages in the Files app described above

True but the core function is still the same.

That is a good tip - I had not realized the Files App was so capable. It does indeed work really well to scan right into DTTG3. (Not only that, I did not realize it is so easy to connect to my NAS from there.)

What benefits do paid apps like Readle have for scanning over the built-in Files app?

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Built in OCR perhaps, that saves you from taking that step in DTTG3 or DT?

With DT it’s easy to setup a smart rule though, to automatically OCR any document with a word count of zero.


A brief and unscientific test just now suggests to me that Scanner Pro, for example, is better at detecting edges, produces a slightly crisper image and offers more document manipulation (e.g. size settings, adding pages later).

Re @Solar-Glare’s comment on built-in OCR, at least some of these apps (e.g. Adobe Scan) send the image to a server to be processed, which limits my use for them significantly. It’s actually not easy to determine which app uses which method (local, cloud) from the marketing blurb - I’ve just tried :see_no_evil:

(And, of course, the Files app puts the image in the cloud, too - depending on jurisdiction and content, that may or may not be permissible; OT: that’s one of the things I love about DT - it’s not cloud-based)


You could disable iCloud drive to be sure, but aren’t files that are saved in the DTTG folders stored locally?

Sure; I meant that (as I understand it) if I capture the image with the Files app, it initially goes into iCloud (assuming default settings). Once in DT, all is local (assuming you aren’t backing up to iCloud).

I’ve tried many of the scanning apps over the years, often retesting them to see which has the edge. One thing I’ve learned is that the built-in scanning in iOS makes gigantic files of many megabytes per. An uncompressed scan in most third party apps is usually around 300k a page, in comparison.

Right now, Adobe scan is the best for me. The free version has superior edge detection, color reproduction, and compact file size. SwiftScan is more powerful, and it’s after-the-fact edge detection tool is the best (but with Adobe, I never need to do touch up, so a non-issue for Adobe), but it’s getting pretty pricey with their new model and is overkill for most who are using DTTG. Readdle’s scanning app sits sort of in the middle, but I find it’s edge detection nowhere near as good on the first pass as Adobe, colors are washed out, and the interface requires more clicks to get everything into DTTG.

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Another option would be Genius Scan.

Now that iOS have some native scanning capabilities; Maybe adding a feature to scan documents directly using DTTG can be reconsidered.
I personally would be very happy to pay for this feature instead of having to pay and use another app.

In my point of view; a photo is not necessarily a document. Leveraging some scanner capabilities are very valuable to my workflow: Like document edges detection, reducing file size (this days an iPhone photo is a very bulky HEIC file), improving readability making the document more paper-liked, etc.

Just my two cents. Thanks!

IOS apps Notes and Files already have scanning features and you can send to DEVONthink ToGo. Can do now. Why ask DEVONthink to spend capital to add to app and perhaps cause a price increase (licensing?).

I use and like Scanner Pro for years. But the apps above also work well.