Google wants to make digitizing old photos a breeze with its new PhotoScan app from the same team behind Google Photos.

While old photo prints have their charm, they're also more vulnerable compared to digital photos. Photo prints get damaged in time, the colors fade, they can be lost in a move, flood, fire and so on. With digital photos stored in the cloud, such risks no longer apply.

Scanning old photos can oftentimes be cumbersome and time-consuming, however, and Google wants to make things as easy as possible with PhotoScan. And scanning a photo with your smartphone using PhotoScan is more than just taking a photo of a photo.

"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," Google points out.

Google PhotoScan: How It Works

Thanks to an intriguing and easy-to-use interface, Google's PhotoScan app enables users to quickly scan a vast amount of photos without much hassle. The tradeoff, however, is that photo prints scanned with PhotoScan are not as high-quality as they would be with a full flatbed scanner.

Nevertheless, the perks PhotoScan has to offer might be worth the slight sacrifice. Upon opening the app, it will automatically turn on the camera and instruct users to place a photo within the frame to start scanning. When a photo is in the frame, the apps will show four dots over the photo. To scan the photograph, you simply need to move the phone over each dot and hold it under the circle fills in. Once all four dots are covered, PhotoScan scans the photo and you can move on to the next one.

PhotoScan automatically crops, rotates and applies color correction to scanned photos. Saving them to Google Photos is easy, with just one tap, and you can later find your scanned photos simply by searching for "scans" within your Google Photo collection. If you also want to save them elsewhere, you can store scanned photos in your camera roll, as well as share them to other apps.

"PhotoScan gets you great looking digital copies in seconds — it detects edges, straightens the image, rotates it to the correct orientation, and removes glare," adds google.

Google Photos Update

PhotoScan is just a bonus in a wider update to Google Photos, which adds new editing tools, an auto-enhance feature and automatically generated movies. Google introduced concept movies back in September and now it's adding more options, with three new types of movies joining the party in the coming weeks and months.

Until more movies roll out, PhotoScan is already available as a free app for iOS and Android. If you already tried it out, share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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