Doo moves beyond document syncing, releases Scanbot for iPhone

Earlier this year, the developers of the document-syncing application Doo announced that the company was shutting down its backend and removing its app from sale. The company wasn’t going anywhere, however, and had plans for a brand new product that would be revealed soon.

Today, the company has taken the wraps off of its newest app, Scanbot, which allows users to scan documents into their iPhone and store them as PDFs or JPGs on a variety of cloud services. We had a chance to talk to Frank Thelen, CEO of Doo, about why the original service was shuttered, how the company decided on a new direction, and and what lies ahead for Scanbot.

According to Thelen, Doo was not shut down due to a lack of users, but the slow adoption of some key changes that the company was counting on. Thelen told 9to5Mac that the service had around 300,000 users when it closed down, but because users weren’t moving more toward digital receipts and other paperwork, the vision of the application was ultimately unrealized:

We underestimated how long it will take until users switch to digital invoice, receipts, contracts and so on. We know all of these document will be digital and people need something like when they change their habits, but we couldn’t just wait until this day.

But before closing down the service, Doo also entertained offers from several larger companies, including “two of the big players in San Francisco,” but Thelen had to turn down the offers because the company could not split its team between two locations.

The inspiration for Scanbot was actually not a new idea created to replace Doo. Instead, the technology was originally planned for inclusion in the Doo software. When Thelen realized that the software could actually stand on its own as a new entry into the scanning app market, Scanbot was born.

Scanbot sports an impressive feature set for a first launch, including automatic edge detection, even on documents with rounded and dog-eared corners. An automatic upload feature allows you to immediately sync your scans to Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote, and more. Scans can be imported from the Camera Roll or photographed using the camera. Multi-page documents can be scanned into a single PDF file.

Overall, Scanbot is quite impressive. The roadmap for future updates isn’t actually set in stone, and Thelen tells us that the plan is to wait until a few weeks after launch and survey customers to find out what features they want the most. This way Doo can ensure that the future of Scanbot matches customer expectations and requests.

Scanbot is available now on the iOS App Store for $.99.

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  1. James H (@nobius) - 9 years ago

    Does this use OCR?

  2. So exactly the same as CamScanner then…??? Which has been going for a number of years… Mmmm Nothing like an original idea… Hehe

  3. Lars Schmidt (@larsimg) - 9 years ago

    I wish I had someone like 9to5mac to do marketing for something that is such an old idea. What is described here is a matter of 4-5 months of effort for a single person. Maybe I don’t see it?

  4. telecastle - 9 years ago

    How is this different from Scanner Pro? It’s a sincere question. I don’t see any reason to keep buying scanning apps if the ones I already have do exactly the same thing. Perhaps, they should have sold to one of those two SF players.

  5. sweet plug. i just tried it. what a waste of time/money – it is a glorified photo app that automatically uploads to the cloud. scanner pro is much more useful.

    • JG (@jerg5) - 9 years ago

      Thanks for the heads up. Will pass on this.

      • Curt Fluegel - 9 years ago

        I like auto-upload. We use it for work receipts and I prefer not to trust people in the field to press more buttons than I need to. Unfortunately that part isn’t working right now for this app (at least with Dropbox)

    • sardonick - 9 years ago

      9to5 Marketing…..again.

  6. ScannerPro has this beat hands-down. ScannerPro is the most mature product of this kind out there and I use it almost daily.

    • Ryan Janak (@RyanJanak) - 9 years ago

      I really like the look of the interface of Scanbot more than Scanner Pro (based solely on Scanbot screenshots). But yeah, Scanner Pro is amazing and I use it almost daily too. I’d be willing to try Scanbot if it were free, but I’m not paying for it.

      It looks like Scanbot works with a few more cloud storage services than Scanner Pro, which might be useful to some people… but I’ve never even heard of some of them.

  7. Ryan Janak (@RyanJanak) - 9 years ago

    After saying I wouldn’t buy this since I was happy with Scanner Pro, I did anyway. I’m a sucker for beautiful apps, especially $0.99 beautiful apps.

    It’s not replacing Scanner Pro though. The scan quality in Scanbot is not even close in my opinion. I put up some comparisons though, so people can make up their own mind:

  8. Mark Hiley - 9 years ago

    It seems remarkable but the ONE thing you ALWAYS HAVE TO DO when holding your phone flat to photograph a document is correct the orientation afterwards by rotating the image, so it’s not upside down when you send it to someone. INCREDIBLY, this app doesn’t seem to be able to do that!

  9. Scanbot sounds kind of neat, but you guys should check out PaperBox, a free cloud solution for scanning images from a mobile device. PaperBox stores all data within Dropbox, but it is then synched and accessible everywhere. It uses OCR, is lightning fast, and has a very polished interface. No ads, no watermarks, no gimmicks. All the feedback we’ve gotten on it so far has been very positive. We will begin working on adding annotations/signatures to images ASAP. Check us out at We’d love to hear from you!

  10. scanbot (@scanbot) - 9 years ago

    Hey guys – with the latest update (version 1.2), you can now choose the folder in your preferred cloud to upload your scans and rename already saved scans. For more details check out our blog post: Hope you like it!