Some iPhone apps are designed to bring us immense joy, some are designed to frustrate us to no end, and others help us streamline our day-to-day activities in a way that leaves us wondering, “How did I get by before I had this app?” WorldCard Mobile, recommended by the Wall Street Journal as “an app that every professional should have”, is one of those iPhone applications.
The reason the WorldCard Mobile app review is a perfect fit for Lawyerist.com is because it is an application that is designed with professionals in mind. Lawyers, like many other professionals, receive and share a lot of business cards. It can be a rather daunting process to enter each of those cards into your contacts database. Paying someone, the alternative to doing it yourself, may not be an option for your budding law practice.
About the Application
WorldCard Mobile, created by Penpower Technology, is an application that allows busy professionals to scan their business cards using the built-in iPhone camera. Once the photo of the business card is taken, WorldCard Mobile uses OCR to translate the image into text and adds that text into your iPhone contacts.
Once you have your contacts transferred from card to contacts, you can then export them into a format that is viewable inside of iTunes file sharing and the Mail application on your Mac.
The app is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, and it requires iOS 3.1 or later.
WorldCard Mobile definitely assists users with the business card entry process. Since you can just photograph the cards, and adjust the data as required, it cuts down on some of the data entry time however, as you will see later in the review, this is not always the case.
The app also has the ability to utilize data stored in e-mail signatures. To use that function, you simply copy the e-mail signature from an e-mail inside of Gmail (or the Mail app) and paste it into WorldCard Mobile. Then, the app will copy the information and you can create a new contact using the data or add/merge it with an existing contact. This functionality allows a user to keep important information stored outside of their e-mail giving them much easier access to the data.
It is also a fairly intuitive and easy-to-use application which does not require a tech degree to figure out — a definite plus for end users who just want to jump in and use the app quickly.
The application requires you to photograph each of your business cards, help it to identify where the text is on each photograph and then check each entry to make sure that it copied the information over correctly. For those of you who can type fast, you could probably type in the data just as quickly. In testing WorldCard Mobile, there were many, many discrepancies in the text that was photographed so by the time an actual contact was photographed, checked and fixed, it took just as long as manually entering it would have.
WorldCard Mobile saves all of the photographed business cards into the camera roll on your iPhone. If the app had the ability to put the photos into a separate album, so as to not clog up your primary photo album, that would be a much better feature. Now, you can turn off the feature which saves the photos to your camera roll but it would be much better if there were file saving options rather than just an on/off switch.
The Downright Ugly
An app review wouldn’t be complete without adding in some ugly. In this case, it has to be the price of the app.
Priced at $5.99, it hits the upper range as far as application pricing goes. It is understandable that some business apps are priced more as they do cater to a crowd that can write off the cost as a business expense. However, when you are an app-a-holic, you don’t necessarily want to be sinking your cash into pricey apps. If you do not tend to do a lot of in-person networking, the ROI for this type of app may be non-existent.
While WorldCard Mobile definitely has some work to do, it is a great app for individuals looking to copy information from business cards. It has a low barrier for use, regardless of tech knowledge, and it has a clean, slick interface for simplicity.