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Neat revises mobile scanning app, adds expense reporting


Pushing towards a paperless future, the neat folks at Neat have released version 2.0 of Neat for iOS. The new build of the scanning-on-the-go application features much faster performance, scan annotation, new sharing and collaboration options, plus a new expense-reporting tool.

Neat has made its bones as a desktop scanning solution, offering both compact and ADF-enabled scanners that work with the company's Mac and PC applications for document management. The Neat mobile app extends that find-my-files experience for access on the go, with scans and folders synchronizing to the NeatCloud online service. You can quickly share folders or individual scans to collaborate with colleagues, or search the OCR / indexed text of your documents to find what you need quickly.

The expense report feature is intriguing; it creates a summary PDF from a collection or folder of receipt scans, totaling up the expenditure and listing categories as it goes. It's not going to supplant dedicated expense-reporting iOS tools like Concur, but for mobile freelancers who want a quick way to send expense overviews while simultaneously filing the receipts for safekeeping, it may get some traction.

The NeatCloud platform also includes an optional human-powered verification step called NeatVerify, which will run the automatic OCR results from your receipt or business card scans (no documents) past the eyes of a real, live person for checking. You can get 30 credits for this service for US$4.99 a month, so it's probably best to save it for key items.

Speaking of credits, while the Neat application is a free download from the App Store, the required NeatCloud service works on a paid subscription basis. After a 30-day free trial, you will need either the $14.99 or $29.99 monthly NeatCloud plan (discounted if you sign up for a year) to use the app; both plans offer additional features like extra users, cross-service search and more. Compare and contrast the $45 annual cost of an Evernote premium subscription, and you get the sense that Neat is aiming at the more demanding side of the market.

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