Problems with Neat Receipts Cloud Scanning Software

After 14 years of building a very dedicated customer base and the world’s most successful and popular scanning platform, Neat has decided to scrap everything and start over with a new scanning solution. So far, reviews have been less than enthusiastic. Top company leadership are leaving and many employees are being laid off. (source)

This document lists some of the design problems with their new product as it relates to Apple users. This document will be updated over time with any new developments or discoveries.

  1. Apple Version Not Native. Rather than create an actual OS X application, the Apple version seems to have been developed on a non-standard emulator platform similar Adobe Air in the way it looks and feels. To find the program, you’ll look for it in Applications under the letter ‘N’ for Neat, but you won’t find it there. It’s in a folder named The Neat Company. To find it, look in The Neat Company > Neat Smart Organization System > Helium-shell > HeliumAppShell > and there you’ll find the familiar Neat program icon. This is where you’ll have to go if you need to drag the program icon to the Dock again, but don’t touch any of the other exposed program files because the entire fragile system will break down if you do.
  2. Columns Not Adjustable. The new program is broken into three primary columns. The left column shows the folders. The middle column shows the folder contents or the specifics of a particular entry. The right column is a preview window. These columns aren’t sizable or adjustable.
  3. Database Change. The database files are individually stored as PDF files in Documents > NeatScan > your name. Presumably if you mess with any of these files, the database index will be thrown off.
  4. Drag and Drop. In the previous versions of the Neat scanning software, it was possible to drag PDF files into the program and have them added, being scanned for OCR. In the new version, you must manually add files from the file menu.
  5. Item Type. When you change the item type from Document to Receipt (for example) the software goes through the ‘Processing’ step again.
  6. Slowness. To adequately test the speed of the Neat cloud-based scanning software, use a 100Mbps Internet connection, and a quad-core computer with 8 virtual cores, running on a solid state hard drive. When you test with this blazing fast computer, you’ll notice the system is slow to load receipt images — even with a database of only a dozen receipts.
  7. Zoom Issues. When you try to zoom in on a receipt using two finger zoom, the viewer zooms too fast.

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