Google Photos has launched a new mobile app called PhotoScan that will help scan your paper-based photos and upload them to the cloud.
“We all have those old albums and boxes of photos, but we don’t take the time to digitize them because it’s just too hard to get it right,” Google’s Jingyu Cui writes in a new post to the company’s The Keyword blog. We don’t want to mail away our original copy, buying a scanner is costly and time-consuming, and if you try to take a photo of a photo, you end up with crooked edges and glare.”
The new PhotoScan app seeks to solve these problems. And this free new app is separate from Google Photos because scanning old paper-based photos hopefully won’t be something users need to do regularly going forward.
Since I’ve spent a good part of this year scanning in thousands of old paper-based photos—and still have many, many thousands to go—I am obviously very curious about this app. I’m also instantly suspicious that taking a picture of a picture isn’t necessarily the best approach.
But Google says that PhotoScan overcomes the typical issues with this sort of thing by automatically detecting photo edges, auto-straightening and rotating the scans, and removing glare. And your scanned photos can be automatically saved to, wait for it, Google Photos.
Beyond the auto-enhance capabilities, PhotoScan also includes advanced editing features so you can do things like correct the exposure and saturation. The app also provides unique “looks” you can use to apply filters to your photos.
I’m away this week, but I will absolutely be checking this one out with my real photos when I return home. Who knows? This app—perhaps in tandem with a tripod or phone mount of some kind—may actually prove to be a better solution than the manual scanning I’ve been doing.