Back in 2017, we introduced you to the Brother ADS-1500W document scanner (read our review here). With its compact size and reliability, it became the scanner by which we judged all others.
While the interface of the ControlCenter2 for Mac application, which came with the scanner was a bit dated, it supported duplex scanning in color and black & white, included OCR scanning, supported long-page documents and, with the dedicated card slot on the ADS-1500W, scanned business cards and credit cards.
The only problem with the Control Center 2 software was that it was a 32-bit application and starting with macOS Mojave, we would occasionally get the warning notice that the application would not be compatible with future versions of macOS.
Shortly before the public release of macOS Catalina, we reached out to Brother to inquire about their plans to update or replace ControlCenter 2 with a 64-bit application. The only response we got was that no information was currently available and to check back on the Brother Support site in the future.
On the Brother web site, they suggested using the Brother iPrint & Scan application as a replacement for ControlCenter2. Unfortunately, the ADS-1500W scanner was not supported by that application. That left Mac users with using the Image Capture or Preview apps in the native macOS software. While that worked, it did create extremely large scans.
You can read our full article about this issue here.
New Brother ScannerApp
Apple Tech Talker reader Roger Davies recently alerted us to the fact that Brother has released two new apps on the Mac App Store.
The new Brother app eliminates the need to use Image Capture or Preview and is much more efficient is making scans. In our test, we scanned the same 4-page color document using Preview and the new Brother app.
Using Preview, the document came out at 8.6MB, while the same document scanned with the new Brother app was only 3.8MB.
Brother ScannerApp Interface
The new app has a minimalist design which makes it easy to use. The actual application window is small so it leaves your desktop mostly visible when in use.
The first time you use the app is opens with a Basic profile set up. All of the options shown above are prefilled except for the Folder which you can select and then save. By clicking the “+” button at the bottom of the screen, you can create new profiles to meet your specific scanning needs.
So, if you know you occasionally need to scan legal size documents, scan in Black & White or Gray Scale, or save to a specific folder, you can create a separate profile and select it with a single click.
Of course, it seems just as easy to make a change to the Basic profile as you need it. We did notice that if you change a setting, it is retained by the app, even if you close the app and reopen it. This would be handy if you have a unique scanning job but can’t complete it all at once.
As you start a scan, a second window opens and the completed scan is displayed on your desktop.
This will then be saved to your designated location.
We even found that the Business Card setting in the File Type properly uses the card reader slot on the ADS-1500W. This was not possible when using Image Capture or Preview and was a feature we missed. The new app does not have settings for OCR or scan directly to email. Those were lost with ControlCenter2. For us, this was not a feature we used very often so we don’t miss it.
Unfortunately, the new ScannerAp does not automatically delete blank pages from scans as ControlCenter2 did, and this function, we do miss.
The Advanced Settings section of the app is basically the same options as the main app screen, but adds the ability to modify the brightness and contrast of the scan.
You can find out more about the Brother ScannerApp on the Mac App Store or by clicking here.
Brother iPrint & Scan App
For those of you that have a Brother Printer or Multi-Function Device, not supported by the new ScannerApp, check out the Brother iPrint & Scan App.
While this app does not support the ADS-1500W scanner, it does support a wide variety of Brother printers and multi-function devices. It is also available on the Mac App Store.
The Bottom Line
While we have continued to use our ADS-1500W scanner without the ControlCenter2 application, we have been frustrated by the size of the scans and was disappointed that Brother seemed to abandon the Mac community. We are happy to see that they have once again released an app to support the ADS-1500W scanner and with it, we again renew our original position that this scanner is a great option and deserves your serious consideration.
Have you been using your ADS-1500W without the original application? What are your thoughts about the new app? Why not join the conversation and leave a comment below?
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