Google PhotoScan Turns Your Old Prints Into Digital Photos


The team behind Google Photos has released a new app for turning your old prints into digital photos, letting you save them to the cloud with a single tap. PhotoScan, which is being made available today on iOS and Android, lets you quickly scan a large number of photos using a novel, almost game-like interface. The tradeoff for the speed of the scans is quality — it’s slightly lower than what you might expect to get from a traditional flatbed scanner.

PhotoScan’s interface is admirably simple, and doesn’t even require a login. The app opens to the camera and instructs you to position a photo within the frame. When you do, four dots appear over your photo. To scan it, you move your phone over each of the dots and hold it until the circle is filled in. Once you’ve covered all four dots, the photo is scanned — and you can immediately slide the next photo under your phone and repeat the process.

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.)

David Lieb, who leads product development for Google Photos, said the goal of PhotoSnap is to persuade people to digitize their old photos before they lose them. “These photos are at risk,” he said. “They’re at risk of being lost when you move, they’re at risk of fires, floods, and theft. And with every day that passes they fade away a bit — they literally fade away.”

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SOURCE: The Verge, Casey Newton