Most of us use Google Photos to back up every shot we take, but now Google has a great tool that lets you capture and upload your old printed photos as well. It's called PhotoScan, and it's a simple tool that will help you get your old prints backed up to the cloud right alongside your new photos taken with your phone.
The process is pretty simple: you just open up the app, and it will have you put the picture down on a flat surface in front of you. You then take four pictures of it at various angles to correct for glare, and PhotoScan will stitch them together to make one nice digital scan of the picture. It's similar to the way Google Camera currently handles panoramas and Photo Spheres. The picture scans can be saved or uploaded to Google Photos with the tag "scans" for you to find later, and it can also do facial recognition just like digital photos.
Once the picture is scanned, it'll automatically be color corrected and cropped in to look as good as possible, though as you would expect these scans won't be as high quality as if you sent them to a scanning service or used a flatbed scanner yourself. But the thing is, most people won't do that, and instead will just let their printed photos fall apart and be lost forever. This new PhotoScan app is an excellent way to help people preserve those memories forever.
The PhotoScan app is rolling out in the Play Store now for everyone to use.
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Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.