Scan Business Cards into Your iPhone Contacts, Error Free

Last Updated Dec 5, 2010 11:34 PM EST

Back when the PalmPilot was a New Thing, I remember opining in some now-defunct business magazine that a perfect PDA would have a business card scanner built in. I wasn't quite prescient enough to realize that smartphone cameras would be far more efficient. Now there are a number of apps out there which will scan your business cards for you, with varying levels of ease and accuracy.

Recently, I mentioned Shoeboxed's new business card scanning software. I liked the 100% accurate guarantee thanks to the human transcription behind the scenes. But while it's pretty slick, I was alarmed by the potential for your contacts to feel like you were signing them up for spam. (Showboxed replied to the post to reassure me that it's not as bad as I suggested.)

If you're looking for another alternative, though, I might be able to help you.

A while back, Rick mentioned CardMunch along with five other business card services. The news now is that CardMunch has gotten a serious overhaul -- CardMunch 2.0 has a slew of new features and is well worth checking out if you handle more than a few business cards each week.

CardMunch still makes it easy to scan a business card, and it's sent off to be hand-transcribed by a human, including any handwritten notes. The card comes back minutes later, and is automatically filed in CardMunch's app, where you can see the photo of the original card alongside the actionable contact information. You can optionally auto-file it in the iPhone's address book as well.

There are a slew of cool new features, though, including a "mobile rolodex" mode -- turn the phone sideways to see photos of all the business cards in a CoverFlow-style presentation. There's also full-text search (not just search by name and company), and connectivity with LinkedIn. You can invite your new contacts to join you on LinedIn with a single tap.

CardMunch still uses a subscription system -- you can buy credit packs in increments from $3 to $25, and each card scan costs about a quarter. You can try the service for free, though -- your first 20 scans are included at no cost.