Google announces PhotoScan app to digitize your old photos

Google has launched a new photo tool for Android and iOS that turns your phone into a handheld scanner, capturing a digital image of a photo print. The new PhotoScan app will allow you to turn your old printed photos into digital ones with the power of computational photography.

According to Google, PhotoScan detects edges, straightens the image, rotates it to the correct orientation, and removes glare. It also includes new, advanced editing tools, including a better “auto enhance” feature, tools for making granular adjustments to light and colour in photos and a dozen new photo filters. The filters are also powered by machine learning, and will edit the photo based on its brightness, darkness, warmth or saturation before applying the new style.

You can find out more about the app in Google’s introductory video:

“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,” said Jingyu Cui, software engineer at Google Photos. “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.”

To get started, you simply open the PhotoScan app, hover over the points that are displayed on your old photo through the viewfinder, and that’s it. From there, Google’s software handles the rest, removing any possible glare, cropping, and leaving you with a high quality digital image for your safekeeping.

You can save the scanned photos to your phone’s internal storage, or Google Photos to be organized, searchable, and shared. Currently, Google Photos offers unlimited photo storage. However, PhotoScan doesn’t automatically upload to Google Photos.

You can now download PhotoScan for iOS from the App Store, or Android from Google Play for free.

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