CamScanner, a highly popular app for scanning and storing documents, has been banned by the government of India as part of the 59 Chinese apps that were blacklisted for data and privacy concerns. Cashing in on this so-called “app vacuum” and riding on the prevalent anti-China sentiment, Indian startup Sorted AI has seemingly built a CamScanner alternative that aims to give users an ‘Indian’ app to scan their documents. Named ‘Kaagaz Scanner’, the app has claimed over 1 lakh downloads within one day of CamScanner being banned, and is presently seeing considerable interest on the Google Play Store.
What is Kaagaz Scanner?
As the name suggests, Kaagaz Scanner aims to do exactly what CamScanner used to, only in an Indian guise. CamScanner was blacklisted in light of its ties to China. Since it was largely used to scan personal identification documents, storing of such documents on the cloud server of an app hosted in China was deemed as a security violation. It is this that Sorted AI’s ‘Kaagaz Scanner’ aims to cash in on, and fill the space left open by marketing an ‘Indian alternative’.
Talking about the app via a LinkedIn post, Gaurav Shrishrimal, the founder of Sorted AI, the company behind Kaagaz Scanner, said, “We built Kaagaz Scanner as a side project after the call of our Prime Minister for ‘Vocal For Local’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. As soon as we got the news of Chinese apps being banned, we started pushing the app in all of our WhatsApp groups and social media feeds. We were lucky to be picked by a few big influencers, which gave us the initial push. That, coupled with a simply, easy to use product, started increasing our install numbers.”
While this sounds like the perfect story of an Indian startup stepping up to innovate and fill up the gap from a better known Chinese app, it seems that Kaagaz Scanner still has some way to go.
This is from a startup I know. They hastily built a CamScanner replacement "Kaagaz Scanner".... it has exploded overnight after the #ChineseApps ban - 100K installs in 24hrs!— Amit Ranjan (@amitranjan) July 1, 2020
Hope this "Fill-up-Chinese-App-Vacuum" story ends up creating some incrementally innovative Indian pdts! pic.twitter.com/DBkXJ6pk63
Should I use it?
Even beyond this, while most users have given Kaagaz Scanner a positive rating on the Google Play Store, reviews paint a different picture. Most recent reviews from yesterday appear to suggest that the app is full of bugs, and has an unintuitive user interface. It also appears to be slow at processing scans, which shows that the app has quite some way to go.
As a result, it is prudent to suggest that you should wait until Kaagaz Scanner’s makers, Sorted AI, manages to sort out their app issues. Until then, you can choose from a list of our trusted document scanning apps and services to use while the homegrown, made in India alternative fixes the bugs.