Microsoft Brings Office Lens To iPhones, Android

03/04/2015 9:14 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

SEATTLE — Microsoft Corp said on Thursday it is bringing one of its most popular apps, which lets people take photos of a document and turn it into a editable file, to Apple Inc's iPhone and Google Inc's Android.

The app, called Office Lens, is already available on phones running Windows, but has had little exposure given Windows' minute share of the smartphone market.

Bringing the app to iOS and Android is the latest sign of Microsoft's new strategy of putting its best software on as many devices as possible, regardless of whether they are running Windows.

Office Lens essentially turns a phone into a scanner, using the camera to take a photo of a menu, receipt or business card, for example, and instantly cropping the image and storing it in Microsoft's OneNote note-taking app, or OneDrive cloud storage app.

The app, which is free to download on both iOS and Android phones as of Thursday, can save an image as a Word file, PowerPoint presentation or PDF file, and uses optical character recognition to make the text searchable and ready for editing.

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