After a long night of networking, the last thing anyone wants to do is sit down and input every name, number and list of social networks from every business card into their own social networks and contact lists. Two apps for iPhone capture info from business cards using your iPhone’s camera to quickly and smartly input the necessary data right into your phone’s contact list. The approach for how to scan and capture business card info using each of these apps is entirely different.
CardMunch is a free app for the iPhone that captures business cards of all sizes, and within minutes turns the info from the card back around to you. The contact information from the card then be input into your contact list, and also used to connect you to the other person via LinkedIn. (This makes sense as CardMunch was acquired by LinkedIn in January.) Just point and shoot at each card from your stack of business cards, queuing up each card for manual processing. A batch of eight cards, sitting in my bag since Launch, was processed in under 20 minutes. You can set CardMunch to automatically add these new contacts to your contact list, or manually choose which contacts to add – though it was difficult at first to find the setting for how to manually add CardMunch contacts to my iPhone contacts. You can also choose to have CardMunch automatically invite new contacts created by CardMunch to LinkedIn – an added bonus to already saving you the time.
For those who can’t wait a few minutes for the outsourced process of CardMunch, WorldCard Mobile offers an app for iPhone users at the cost of $5.99 from the iTunes store. WorldCard Mobile works similarly to CardMunch – just point and shoot at your business cards. The data, however, will instantly be grabbed and placed into your phone’s contact list without the need for human transcription. As the data recognition is instant, WorldCard Mobile is not always accurate. A capture of my business card using WorldCard Mobile read “Seattle” as “Seahle.” There is also no integration with social networks such as LinkedIn.
Though WorldCard Mobile is $5.99, CardMunch works comparatively well as a free app, especially if you queue up your cards to process while you sleep after that long night of networking. The social integration is a nice touch, and makes it fast and easy to continue network long after a conference. After all, isn’t that what business cards are for?