Though not too many of us print photos today, preferring to view and send them electronically to family and friends, according to some counts, there may be more than 2 trillion printed photos out there — many of them our most precious memories, in danger of being damaged and lost for ever.
Enter PhotoScan, a brand new, and aptly named, standalone smartphone (and tablet) app from Google that allows you to easily scan and digitize all your printed photos at high quality, and bring them into Google Photos.
PhotoScan uses computational photography to automatically detect edges, straighten the image, rotate it to the correct orientation, and even remove glare (so you can scan directly from glass-framed photos). Scanned photos can be saved in one tap to Google Photos to be organized, searchable, shared, and safely backed up -— for FREE.
Here are some of the key benefits that Google lists for PhotoScan:
- Simple. All you need to do is connect the four dots moving your phone over the photo, following a simple guide in the app, and then you are done.
- Smart. We use machine intelligence to bring you the best digital version of your printed memory. We correct aspect ratio, rotate the photo, apply auto enhance, adjust white balance, and trickiest of all — remove glare. This even works in framed photos or photo albums (yes, even ones with plastic).
- Integrated to get the magic of Photos. Once scanned and saved to Google Photos, your photos are safely stored and ready to be organized, edited and shared. Make an old memory brand new with collages, albums, videos — and we’ll make some for you, too.
When you take a picture of a printed photo using your cell phone, there can be glare from overhead light reflecting from the photo or from the glass your printed photo may reside under. View the video to understand how, by taking a reference picture, plus 4 more pictures at slightly different angles (the “connect four dots” mentioned above), PhotoScan can smartly remove that glare.