If you’ve got some spare time over the Christmas holidays, you might consider digitizing all of those photos you have lying around. A new, free app from Google, PhotoScan, makes this easy.
Available for both Android and iOS, the app scans photos using your smartphone’s camera in a way that eliminates glare and shadows to improve overall quality. It will also automatically crop out edges, like the white border of a Polaroid shot. Google says it should work with photos in frames and picture albums, too. That can certainly save you some time.
When scanning a photo, the app asks you to line up a circle in the center of the screen with four dots located near the corners of the photo. The app then takes multiple individual images and stitches them together. That reduces the glare you might get when taking a single photo from one particular angle. Photos are automatically cropped, rotated, and color corrected. You can save them to Google Photos with one tap — and then, when you want to find them, you can just search for “scans” inside Google Photos and they’ll all come up. (You can also save them to your camera roll or share them to other apps.)
The app is so easy to use that you could even have your children or your students busy digitizing the past. So grab those old photos and get busy scanning them. You’ll be glad you did!