6 Photo scanner apps to digitize your favorite photos!
Updated: May 13
Whether you’re a minimalist trying to save space or a traveler always on the go, or trying to repair an old photo, a scanner for your photos can be a cumbersome device you don’t want to deal with. It takes up desk space, uses one of the too-few USB ports on your laptop or desktop, and it might require more software and time than you’re wanting to spend.
A scanner just may be a little too much for you to handle, but you still want to save your photos! How can you grab quality digital prints of these precious memories without incorporating the inconvenient scanner?
Introducing smartphone apps that save your bacon. Well, photos. Perhaps photos of bacon? Either way, these five apps get you the high quality photo scans you want from the scanner, with the convenience of your cellphone.
PhotoScan can scan your photos in mere seconds, automatically removing glare. You can also automatically enhance, rotate, or crop your photos and keep them immediately in your Google Photos app. It allows stitching together multiple photos of a regular photograph. They import directly to your gallery app and can be shared or mailed, or opened in whatever editing app you use. If you’re already working with Google Photos or an Android device, it’s a seamless addition to your app library and integrates without issue.
One drawback from a few users is that the images are limited to 3MP. Depending on your photo (and even the lens used to take it) photos can be upward of 50MP+, so a 3MP version is severely limiting in rare cases. If you’re in the business of high-end fine art or digital photography this may be a hang-up, but if you’re just viewing them on a phone or tablet or saving older consumer photos and digitizing your library you’re in a good spot. 3MP photos are far easier to store! -- Android/iOS.
This photo scanning app automatically can detect photo borders and boundaries to crop, and also auto-rotates when necessary. You can add names and dates and tag the photos with location information. You just need to remember what cabin you were at when you had that dirt fight! Another cool feature is the ease with which you can scan photos if you have them in an album.
You can scan a whole album page and the app will detect multiple photos in the shot which works a treat for bulk scanning of your old albums. The difference between the free and paid versions adds even more features, like cloud storage, multiple device access, and unlimited albums. -- Android/iOS
The creator of this app also made a very well-received document scanning app (called Scanbot) that’s a decent photo scanning app as well. But Photo Scanner, as the name suggests, is their photo-specific version to revive your old photos and digitize them. Like many other options, Photo Scanner offers auto-cropping of photos and auto-detection, and also has what they call a “Magic Color” filter to revitalize faded photos. You can easily sort the selected photos into albums and can sync with iCloud or Google Photos. -- Android/iOS
Quisquee makes a decent photo scanning app, with similar features to the others we’ve mentioned. It functions similar to a photo gallery app in that editing happens natively within the same scanning app. Along with this is the cropping feature, which is manual and not automatic like some others have, though it uses an eight point tool for more accuracy. Other editing options include filters, frames, stickers, etc, but also information changes like time/place. They also provide a slideshow feature, and a plugin to change your phone’s background if you’re into that sort of thing. -- Android/iOS
Pic Scanner is not a free app, and that should be noted. While other apps provide similar features for free, Pic Scanner (and it’s more expensive counterpart Pic Scanner Gold) does come with a pricetag. It’s got a few significant drawbacks by comparison. The picture rotation feature is manual, and so is the cropping of the photo. You can still edit within the app, and you don’t need to be connected to the internet for its functions to work, but the cheaper version has some limits in number of shares that aren’t unlocked before an upgrade. -- Android/iOS
This app is a little off the beaten path, as it actually scans film negatives and converts them into the digital developed version of your photos. While not hugely popular, likely due to a lack of photo negatives lying around, it does decent work to review what the negatives are and catalogue your photos in an easily-accessible app. It’s a simple mechanism, basically inverting the colors of your negative, so it needs an illuminated negative to work best. A light board, lamp, or evena tv/computer monitor to brighten the negative will help it work. It even allows you to adjust your white balance to fix tint issues or balance a white and black photo. -- Android/iOS
In the end, don't forget that the quality of cameras on mobile phones has really come a long way. Simply taking a photo of a photo may get the job done! If you are looking for help getting a scanned photo fixed, click here!
For professional assistance with any photo restoration, retouching, or recreation, please visit us at www.PhotoRepairPro.com