Google’s Latest Photo App Wants to Take Away the Pain of Digitizing Your Old Print Pictures

This is something we all needed


I don’t know about you but I have had this problem for as long as social media has existed. Back in 2008 when I had just joined Facebook and camera phones were still something I saw and salivated at on national newspapers (never mind that the devices in question had 0.3 megapixel shooters anyway), there was just no other way to get my photos on the platform.

The easiest route was to to snap myself using the webcam mounted on top of those old cyber cafe CRT monitors. But that would only apply for photos I intended to use as profile picture. What about the other activities I had captured on my entry-level Kodak camera during the high school term? A flatbed scanner came in quite handy.

It’s no longer 2008 but 8 years later, I still come across quite a number of #TBT (Throwback Thursday for those of you who don’t get Internet slang) photos with either lots of light glare or the sides of where the print photo was placed before being captured using a smartphone camera still being visible.

Google knows about our struggles to get past memories which only exist in print photos online, either for posterity now that we have decent cloud storage solutions including Google’s own Photos app or just for sharing with friends on social media for nostalgic purposes. As a result, the company unveiled a new standalone application, PhotoScan, to do just that and offer to save the results online where they can be easily accessed on any device thereafter.

PhotoScan is easy to use. Just download the app from your respective app store (it is available on both Android and iOS), open it up and scan away!

You don’t have to do a thing in the process, just follow the on-screen instructions to scan your photograph. The app handles the rest – like getting rid of where you had placed the photo while scanning it (by carefully cropping) so whether it was a rock or a Mahogany table or a dirty duster, the world will never know! Once a print photo has been scanned, the app offers to save it for you. You can opt to save the scanned photo in the Google Photos app or your camera roll/image gallery app or both.

PhotoScan gets you great looking digital copies in seconds – it detects edges, straightens the image, rotates it to the correct orientation, and removes glare. Scanned photos can be saved in one tap to Google Photos to be organized, searchable, shared, and safely backed up at high quality—for free.