Snabiz Doesn't Readily Clarify the Contact Info on Your Business Cards

Snabiz (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
Developer: Netwalk
Price: $6.99 Download on the App Store

snabiz iphoneI gave Netwalk's Snabiz nearly every opportunity to solve one of the grand challenges of business life: How to automatically convert printed business cards into a digital format. It's a real pain to type contact information on business cards into a contact manager. If you have to do it often, filing your teeth with sandpaper seems more enjoyable.

Snabiz purports to use optical character recognition to identify print on business cards and digitize them into a transportable format. The idea is that you simply take a snapshot of a business card and Snabiz tags the name, address and other relevant fields. Once that's done, shazam, you can import all this information into your Contacts.

I'd be willing to actually pay good money for an app that does something like that. Unfortunately, all I got was bupkis.

I tried several cards and each time, the results appeared to have been typed by a monkey. Deborah, came out as D-bouh, another name came out as F..S<HI$\?T and just about everything else came out as "Unknown." I even tried taking an image of a few lines of typed text without any distracting logos or weird typefaces.

I tried taking pictures of cards in low light and bright light; up close and far away; by handheld and by propping my iPhone on a level surface. I begged, I pleaded, I cajoled and I even offered up my cat as a sacrifice. Snabiz sneered and crashed at least three times.

I guess I should have read the fine print more closely: Netwalk notes that "if you want to take sharp (and useful) pictures" you need a special lens" such as Griffin Technology's Clarifi. I interpreted that to mean that I could get better results with a special lens; not that I absolutely needed one to make Snabiz work. That point is glossed over on Netwalk's support page too. That's a key point the dev should have made more clear, I think.

I checked online for the price of a Clarifi. It's about $34.99. Add that to the $4.99 for Snabiz and you're looking at $40.00. For $4.00-$7.00 more you can buy a cheap scanner with OCR software. For now, that's a better deal even if Snabiz actually works.

Image Gallery: Snabiz

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  • Gert


    thanks for the review, I'm glad you recognize the relevance of Snabiz,
    we're indeed trying to assist all those people that have to import a lot of business cards.

    Unfortunately, the camera of the iPhone is not capable of taking clear pictures of business cards (hopefully next generation will have a better one)
    so for now you definitely need the additional lens.
    And we have a lot of satisfied users that use it this way.

    So I'm very sorry you misinterpreted the sentence about taking useful pictures.
    We guessed that the notice on the App Store does not leave room for interpretation
    but we'll try to put it more explicitly.

    Gert (co-developer of Snabiz)

  • Tomas

    yeah, i got caught too. They got me. I bought the app and it is totally useless. DO NOT BUY IT UNLESS YOU HAVE THE SPECIAL LENS!!!!

  • Bob Marshall