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posted: 8/24/2013 6:00 AM

App reviews: Boundless, CamScanner

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  • The Boundless app has set out to offer students low-cost alternatives to their traditional textbooks by collecting information and curating it into free or low-cost books.

      The Boundless app has set out to offer students low-cost alternatives to their traditional textbooks by collecting information and curating it into free or low-cost books.

  • The CamScanner app can scan documents by taking a picture with a camera phone and save them as PDF files.

      The CamScanner app can scan documents by taking a picture with a camera phone and save them as PDF files.

 

By Hayley Tsukayama, The Washington Post

BOUNDLESS: A back-to-school app

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Boundless has set out to offer students low-cost alternatives to their traditional textbooks by collecting information and curating it into free or low-cost books. The company says the textbooks are as good as ones you may buy from a college bookstore, and the app even lets you search for a textbook you need in order to find one in the Boundless catalog that can work for the same class. Premium books, which come with the perk of study aids such as flashcards and quizzes, will cost $19.99.

The app's books are good at covering the basics -- so good in fact, that textbook publishers have sued the company for copyright infringement. Boundless is currently in mediation with the publishers. Users should keep in mind that Boundless may not have everything on every subject. For those looking to save cash or for help with the fundamentals, however, Boundless gets an A. Free, for iOS.

CamScanner: From phone to scanner

Scanning a document can be a real pain, particularly if you're stuck in some sort of loop where you have to print it, sign it, scan it and send it back. CamScanner aims to take a little bit of friction out of that process by making your scanner something you probably have on you anyway: your smartphone. Users can scan documents by taking a picture with their phone's camera and save them as PDF files. The app has some capability to recognize words in a scanned document, so you can search for phrases. The app isn't always great at picking up clear images -- users may have to take a couple of snaps to get the light just right -- but it beats waiting for the scanner to fire up while you're on the go. Free, for Android and iOS devices.

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