The Google PhotoScan app helps you digitize your old print photos


The new Google PhotoScan app has just made it easier to digitize your old print photos.

The younger generation doesn’t have many print photos but in some households there are hundreds of old, print photos lying around in oblivion or in old and bulky albums. Many times you feel motivated to scan all those photos and digitize them but it is a big task to sit with all those albums and the scanner and then put the photographs inside the scanner one by one, and once the photo has been scanned, crop it at proper places and then save it.

With the Google PhotoScan app, you simply have to point at your smartphone camera at a few points on the photograph and the photo is digitized, without the surrounding information like the old frame or the table or the album boundaries. It makes it very easy to turn your old paper prints into digital photos and store them in the cloud with just a single tap.

PhotoScan is available on iOS and Android. Since the app automatically recognizes photographs all you need to do is point your smartphone camera at particular spots of the photograph and the rest of the job is done by the app. Your digitized photographs are automatically cropped, rotated (if they appear upside down). After scanning these photos, as mentioned above, you can save them in Google Photos. Then afterwards, you can find all the photographs that you have saved using PhotoScan can be found by searching for “scans”.

This is a good way of getting more photographs for the Google image processing AI. In most of the cases Google and other services are confined to digital photographs that have been clicked using digital cameras and smartphone cameras. There are billions of photographs that were taken before people started clicking photos using digital devices. All these photos remain untapped.

Although Google Photos has acquired more than 200 million users, it faces tough competition from Apple, Amazon and Facebook photo hosting services. PhotoScan suddenly allows people to upload photographs that don’t even exist digitally – they are scattered in cupboards or confined within antediluvian photo albums.

I haven’t personally tried out PhotoScan, but I plan to do so very soon. I hope I will also be able to scan old paper photos from within the photo albums because most of the photos are stuck on the pages and it is very difficult to take them out, put them into the scanner and then scan them. This is the reason why I haven’t digitized most of my old people photos. If they can be scanned from within the album itself, it will be great help.

About Amrit Hallan
Amrit Hallan is the founder of He writes about technology not because "he loves to write about technology", he actually believes that it makes the world a better place. On Twitter you can follow him at @amrithallan

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