My latest at ProfHacker: Quick photo scanning: Google PhotoScan

Flatbed scanner and photoA good number of us here at ProfHacker try to minimize some of the clutter in our lives by (when possible) digitizing the paper that comes our way.

As we’ve found our way with scanning, we’ve shared what we’ve learned with readers. We’ve reviewed portable scanners such as the Doxie One, and taken a look at phone applications that can be used for document scanning (see, for instance, Lincoln’s post on DocScanner, or Natalie’s on CamScanner).

Those applications are good for working with text documents. What about photos, though? How many of us have plenty of old photo albums (or worse, shoeboxes) full of old snapshots?

Google recently released an application (available for both Android and iOS) for converting those old photos to digital format: PhotoScan. It does a remarkably good job (especially for a phone scanner); I was surprised how well it worked. There was virtually no glare on any of my scanned images, images were clear, and colors were good — and where I thought they needed a little tweaking, a quick tap on the “Auto” button in Google Photos’ editor was sufficient to the task. (Yes, if you use Google Photos, PhotoScan will automatically upload them to your account.

You can see the app in action here:

For scanning a few photos at a time, PhotoScan is great. It’s far faster than scanning images on the flatbed scanner of my multifunction inkjet printer. I suspect, though, that flatbed scanning will provide even better images. Assuming one also has access to photo editing software that can automatically split detect multiple images a single scan, making it possible to scan several photos simultaneously, a flatbed scanner is likely to be faster for processing large batches of photos.

Do you have any favorite apps (mobile or desktop) for photo scanning? Let us know in the comments!

[Lead image is a CC-licensed photo by Flickr user Tony Alter.]

from ProfHacker » Amy CavenderProfHacker – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education

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