You decide to scan that box of old photos but after only three scans on your flatbed scanner, it quickly becomes apparent the project will take a lot longer than you anticipated.
Enter Google PhotoScan, a new mobile app to help you more easily scan those old Polaroids that are sitting around in shoe boxes in a closet or tucked into photo albums.
With the PhotoScan app, you take an initial photo of your picture and then point to dots the app sets in each corner of the picture, which the app then uses to snap another photo of each corner. PhotoScan uses the same technology behind the Google StreetView 360 photo feature to stitch all five pieces together and by doing so, eliminate any glare.
[Tweet “COOL TOOL: Google PhotoScan App #Photography”]
Here’s Google’s promo video of the app:
And this is a hands-on demonstration from c|net:
As the video mentions, the Google PhotoScan app will save your scanned photos to your phone’s camera roll and it will prompt you to save it to your Google Photos account, if you have the Google Photos app installed. From there, you can make adjustments to your scanned pictures.
While it is a very slick app, PhotoScan is not flawless. I tested the iOS version and it was prone to crash occasionally. I expect that will improve as the developers make improvements over time.
What you won’t see in the above videos, however, is that the app isn’t always perfect at eliminating glare. Here’s a couple examples of a photo I had to scan several times to eliminate the glare.
One time, the app crashed so I didn’t get a copy of the scan. Another time, I captured the scan but it didn’t remove the glare:
The third time was a charm with this photo.
Another flaw is the orientation dots sometimes get confused and you have to tilt your phone to align the pointer with the dots, all the while the app is nagging you not to tilt your phone. But that’s the only way you can align them.
These flaws are kind of annoying, but not a deal breaker for an app that more often than not is going to save you a lot of time over what you would spend scanning on a flatbed.
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