Contacts are my life! I have 1,450 contacts in my iDevices/computer and if I ever lost them I’d be dead in the water. However, I get new contacts mostly from business cards. I’ve reviewed apps here in the past that allow you to take a photo of a business card/scan it and OCR so that the data can be automatically added to your Address Book. However, none of those Apps from past reviews were native to the iPad and in most cases those Apps had limited contact management capabilities. This is where WorldCard HD excels. First of all it can either import your existing contacts in from the iOS Address Book or you can add them via scanning business cards. One feature that I like right of the bat is the ability to batch process multiple cards. You can snap photos of several cards and then let WorldCard HD convert them all at the same time making the process a lot less tedious.
Another thing that WorldCard HD has going for it is integration with Google Maps for quick and easy directions to your contact. While iOS has a Map App, the integration is outside the Address Book. When you tap on an Address for a client it takes you to the Maps App or you’d have to launch the Map app and then search for your contact. Being able to launch into the map directly from the Business Card is nice and while still in WorldCard HD as another tab is nice.
Of course there’s also built-in Social Networking. You can get connected with your contacts with a single touch. The system will smartly use information such as names and emails to search on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter right away. Currently iOS has no LinkedIn or Facebook integration.
You can also look at your information visually as cards or of course as a list. There is iCloud and Dropbox support as well.
How well does the OCR work?
I tried using the OCR (optical character recognition) feature with 3 random cards lying on my desk, two of which were from other countries and the OCR results were “ok”, not stellar and far from perfect, but about what I’d expect. In the case of the US based card, it totally left off the job title/department and the name. There are so many different formats that people use for cards, so it’s going to be almost impossible for any App to recognize all the data and put them in the right fields. In the case of WorldCard it seemed to just leave things off here and there as opposed to recognizing the text and putting it in the wrong field. Another issue you may run into is that the iPad 2 camera was so bad that it may not work well at all! The other thing I’d like to see is where there is “No Name”, in other words a company, I’d like to see the App list the Company where the name would be. Right now it just lumps them all together at the end.
The Map feature is cooler than I thought it would be. I tapped on a contact and it showed me where that contact’s address was on the built-in Google Map and it even showed me other contacts in the area. Neat!
The Bottom Line
I wasn’t really looking for an Address Book replacement, but I think I’ve found one. There are a few tweaks that would make the App even better and I’m sure the developer will make them! WorldCard HD is worth a look for those of your who take your contact management seriously and you want a native iPad App.