Reading snail mail without opening them

iOS & iPadOS

With the holiday season, upon us, junk mail fill the mailboxes. I would like to be able to read only the envelopes to decide whether to open or discard them.

I would like to know which of the apps- KNFB Reader, Seeing AI, Prizmo Go etc is good for this task and how to do so. I have tried all of the above mentioned apps with frustrating results,.

Thanks in advance..



Submitted by Sasha Stride on Saturday, December 9, 2017

It looks like you need an ocr app. I would recomend prismo go or maybe tap tap see or even identify or Seeing Ai or aipoly or even texie. Hope this helps. Note that Seeing Ai may not be available in your country; it is like this in sweden and I just don’t know whhy. Also I would avoid the ones with subscription if you use gift cards.

Submitted by Blind Traveler on Saturday, December 16, 2017

I hate junk mail! I call the companies that send me catalogues and flyers and tell them I am blind and to take me off their lists. UGH I hope you find an app that works for you. I have a big reader that will tell me what it says on the envelope. But sometimes you have to open the stuff just to make sure.

Submitted by Orko on Saturday, December 16, 2017

The biggest problem I had with this are window envelopes that have a piece of clear plastic over the window, the plastic creates enough glare that cameras have a hard time getting the text underneath. I eventually gave up on using cameras for reading mail and use my flat bed scanner, which has no problem reading through the clear plastic. My purpose for reading mail before opening it is to make sure it is addressed to me.

Submitted by charles on Sunday, December 17, 2017

It will work if you are at the right distance from the envelope, if the lighting is right, and you have a steady hand. Use the channel for reading a single line of text and move slowly. For the best result, though, rely on a flat bed scanner and an OCR program on your PC such as OpenBook.

Submitted by Orko on Monday, December 18, 2017

In reply to by charles

That is exactly what I do, I use a Canon LiDE 200 flat bed scanner and Open Book on my PC, and it works great.

I picked up a Pearl document camera because Freedom Scientific is selling them at 50% off. It's great for scanning books, especially with it motion sensing multi page scanning mode, but for windowed envelopes with clear plastic in the window it doesn't work so well.

And, I love junk mail! Unlike bills, you don't have to send them any money!

Submitted by Ekaj on Monday, December 18, 2017

This info is good to know for this up-and-coming iPhone user, lol. I'm on a limited income, so I think I'll check out this Seeing AI thing. It sounds pretty awesome, and I definitely get my fair share of junkmail both electronically and through the regular post. Thanks for posting.

Submitted by Mani on Monday, December 18, 2017

Thank you all. And Ekaj, you are welcome and besides Seeing AI is free. And it is worth trying for many other purposes..

Also, I don't use Windows but I guess I can use Docuscan in conjunction with an Eppson flatbed scanner I already have. It sounds a bit painful to scan those letters one after another but I guess we don't have a good choice.

Submitted by Chuck Winstead on Tuesday, December 19, 2017

I feel that struggle as well. Getting advertisements from credit card companies is pretty frustrating. Especially after I keep calling and saying I'm not interested, and to take me off of their list.