Google’s PhotoScan App: Finally You Can Bring Old Prints to the Digital Realm

By - November 2016

During an event yesterday in New York City despite being a rainy day, Google was able to brighten up the mood with the release of a new app and some new features to Google Photos. Google Photos is hands down my favorite picture app, and not just because I’m an Android user. Google Photos allows me to quickly and easily backup my images, sort and search for them, and sharing them is very much as easy as selecting the images I want and sharing. But as great as this is for all the images I came with my digital camera or phone, what about the memories that only existing on a format that time will slowly fade out. This is where Google’s new PhotoScan app comes in.

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PhotoScan is available now in the Google Play Store and iOS shortly after and it allows you to simply create a scan of your printed images. You can admit it, you’ve tried to take a picture of a picture with your phone before. Only to have that image now come out as nice as you hoped. Glare or shadows get in the way and won’t let your old printed pictures be great. With PhotoScan, you can take an initial picture of the print and then the app puts four dots over this image. As you move you phone to hover over each dot, PhotoScan is doing an image capture. Once you hover over each the app overlays each image into one complete digital image. I’ve tested this out live and was quite impressed with the results.

Below are a few sample shots of images I recently found in some old bins and figured let’s give this a try.

Now Google is introducing PhotoScan in time for the holidays, when many people visit family and are likely to have access to family albums or framed photos on the mantle. They wanted to create an app that makes it easy to capture and keep the photos you cherish, and lets you scan as many as you want quickly and easily.

Again this app is now available in the Google Play Store and I’m sure you will love this. I’ve already scanned a few images, and I plan to raid my parents home soon for some other images!

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Now while PhotoScan was the one I liked more from the event, I definitely must mention some cool new features from Google Photos. This include,

New editing tools: Everyone has their way of editing their photos. Some people want a one tap solution to make their photo look great, and some really want control over the details like exposure correction and color. These updates help you get the look you want, no matter your method.

Improved auto-enhancement tools: Auto enhance is your one-tap solution to improve your photo instantly. Just tap your photo, tap the pencil, and tap “Auto.” Machine intelligence does the work for you; it applies photography fundamentals to make corrections that pop.

Awesome new looks: We’re launching 12 new “looks” in the editor, and they’re unique because they’re smart; when you apply a look, machine intelligence also corrects exposure and color balance for that specific look. This way, all the 12 options improve your photo and not only a few, and choosing one is just a matter of taste. To create these unique looks, we studied different genres of photography, like portraiture, fashion and street photography, for inspiration.

Better editing tools: Google Photos originally launched with a few categories to edit your photos, including: light, color, pop. We’ve added layers to each of these categories so you can get as specific as you’d like with your adjustments. Two examples include:

“Deep Blue” lets you adjust only the color blue in photos featuring the sky or the water so the rest of the image isn’t oversaturated.

“Skin Tone” allows you to adjust the warmth of skin tones in a photo. For example, if you’ve already increased the saturation of your photo, you can bring the skin tones back down so they’re balanced. This works over a wide range of skin tones.

Movies, made just for you: Google Photos has been making movies automatically since we launched, and we have recently made big improvements to them. Now, underlying photos, videos and music are all chosen with a specific moment or theme in mind. You’ll receive touching, funny home movies from the photos you’ve taken (and scanned) around the moments that matter — from your child’s first year to holiday traditions — and you don’t have to do a thing. Here are a few examples of what we introduced today and what’s coming:

  • Today we introduced “Lullaby” for busy parents who have tons of photos of their baby but little time to put a sweet montage together.
  • Holiday traditions (December) will reflect photos taken on Christmases past.
  • Around National Pet Day (April 11th) we’ll roll out special movies celebrating the dogs and cats in our lives.
  • On Earth Day, also in April, we’re launching a movie for outdoors enthusiasts who love taking photos and videos when they go hiking.
  • Be sure to check them all out, making new memories and cherishing old ones with Google!

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    Jason Anderson is the Publisher & Editor At Large of G Style Magazine. A known gadget head and lover of all things digital. Some of his favorite movies include Hackers, The Net, The Matrix (1, 2, & 3), and Transformers.....see a trend here lol.