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PhotoScan at work

How to quickly scan old photos using PhotoScan (infographic)

In late 2016, Google released a new app for both Android and iOS called PhotoScan.

What problem does PhotoScan solve?

Can you answer yes to any of these?

  • I have multiple photo albums. (at least with this one, there is implied organization)
  • I have multiple boxes of photos.
  • I have a hard time sorting, finding and sharing printed photos.

Realizing that many of us have photo albums and/or boxes full of old paper photographs, and that it’s much easier to share a digital photo, Google created PhotoScan.

Photo digitization made easy

While digitization (or digitizing) are rather clunky and not everyday words, when you scan a paper photo onto a computer, that’s what you’re doing. The process used to be as clunky as the words themselves, but Google is looking to change that. As I have tested PhotoScan, I’d say they have succeeded. It is fast, easy, and almost error free in its scanning. There were only a few times where the scanned images were blurry (just delete and retake them) or I needed to manually crop the image (which is very easy to do in PhotoScan).

It also works – but not so great – for scanning documents (like marriage certificates). However, for documents, you’d be better off using something like CamScanner so you can save it as a pdf. PhotoScan is for photos, so it saves everything as a jpg file.

One other consideration is that the app has to work with the hardware on your phone. Newer phones have better, more advanced cameras, and therefore will produce better quality images. For best results, Google recommends using their phones (the Pixel and Pixel XL), however, any newer phone – anything less than about 18 months old – will work well. The Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy are two common phones, both with great cameras.

All in all, it’s a great tool for quickly scanning paper photos and saving them as digital images. To learn more about it, watch the slideshow below, as well as the video at the bottom of the page (made by Google). We’ve also created a free infographic on the benefits of PhotoScan. To download that, click the button below.

For more about how to use Google Photos for organizing and curating digital or newly-scanned photos, check out our popular e-book: Complete Guide to Google Photos. Download the infographic for a 20% discount on the e-book.

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How to quickly scan old photos using your phone


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