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Best Photo Scanner Apps that will Surprise You (Pleasantly)

Best Photo Scanner Apps that will Surprise You (Pleasantly)

When we think of scanner apps, document scanners are the first that come to mind. These are very helpful tools for saving travel receipts, saving sketches or ideas scribbled on an envelope, or capturing notes from a whiteboard. But photo-scanner apps, although newer, can be just as useful.

Here’s how they work:

Take a snapshot with your phone, edit and save the resulting scan. That’s it. No need for an expensive flatbed scanner or software for cropping and editing. You’ll be surprised at the speed and quality some of these apps can offer–and just how much time they’ll save you.

We’ve tested the best photo scanner apps on the market, and have selected the cream of the crop. Here are the top 5 apps to digitize your prized pictures.

#1. Pic Scanner Gold


    Pic Scanner Gold for iOS provides a fast and easy way to scan several photographs at a time. Its impressive photo editor and built-in tools for converting photos into e-greeting cards, shareable albums, and slideshows make it a worthy addition to your iPhone.

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    To scan, keep photos on a white background with a small separation between photos. Hold the iPhone or iPad horizontal above the photos. The app will focus automatically, and when the device is exactly level it will display an OK sign. Tap the shutter button, and all the photos will be cropped and immediately saved on Gallery screen.

    Pic Scanner Gold automatically enhances photos and corrects for perspective distortion. It includes a wide range of filters to give a nostalgic look to old photographs. You can add frames, filters, text and overlays, and make other adjustments. The  blemish removal tool is especially useful for fixing minor creases or stains in old pictures.

    The app lets you add information about photos, such as when and where it was taken. The album creation feature helps organize scanned photos into digital albums the way our mothers used to with analog binder albums. If you like to combine old and new, you can even import recent pics from Photos app. The app’s View Caster slideshow is billed as a “slideshow with a twist”, which makes photo browsing more fun. And if you want to share memories or embarrass a cousin with throwback photos, the app makes it very easy to post on social media or save to any cloud service of your choice.

    Learning to use Pic Scanner Gold is not difficult: it walks you through the main scanning tips. Functions on each screen are also explained in the app’s Help menu. All this will give you enough knowledge to scan and enhance your pictorial past.
    Pic Scanner Gold costs $4.99 and can be downloaded here.

    Pic Scanner Gold is the successor to Pic Scanner, the first mobile app that could scan and crop multiple photo. Pic Scanner costs $2.99 after a free trial, but has fewer features.

    #2. Shoebox

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      Shoebox, one of the first photo scanner apps, is another photo scanner app which will detect the edges of old photos and correct perspective automatically. The app is available for iOS, OSX, Android and Windows.

      As soon as you scan a photo, you will see its outline marked with a dotted line. If edge detection is not accurate, drag the handles at the photo’s corners to adjust the cropping guide, and that’s it. After scanning the photo, the app allows you to add information like the place, name and caption. This allows you to browse photos based on time, locations, season, camera, and many other criteria. You can view slideshows and share your pictures directly on Twitter, Facebook, and more.

      Although the app is free, you will need an Ancestry account (Ancestry.com bought Shoebox a few years ago) for backing up photos. Also, it doesn’t offer advanced editing features such as adjusting contrast or color, or filters and frames. This makes Shoebox simple to use but a bit limited in its scope.

      #3. PhotoScan


        PhotoScan, developed by Google, is a recently released app. It is available for both Android and iOS.

        To scan, you place a photo on a plain surface. The app will automatically find frame of photo and instruct user to move phone around the photo so as to capture it from three different points. It will then combine them to produce a glare-free scan.

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        In our tests, the glare removal feature worked very well. Accuracy of edge detection was acceptable. Of course, avoiding glare in the first place is better than capturing and then removing it. This is easily done by not using flash but scanning in reflected or indirect light. You will notice the difference when you scan the same photo in good light and under flash with glare removal.

        PhotoScan lets you save scanned images to Google Photos or on your phone. PhotoScan also automatically rotates photos to make them right side up. Editing options are a bit limited. Also note that it works only on iPhone 5S and newer devices.

        PhotoScan is free and can be downloaded from iOS App Store or Google Play.

        #4. Cam Scanner

          Cam scanner is better-known as a document scanner, although it can also double as a photo scanner. The app use phone’s cameras to take picture of document, edit it, crops it, and then creates PDF which can be shared easily. On the home screen you have tags on left hand side. All scans are sorted according to tags, which can be customized as required.

          There are options to delete, share, merge, change tag and add password protection. Most of its features, such as Gray Mode, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) are great, but designed for document rather than photo scanning.

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          Cam Scanner lets you save scans to a number of third-party apps, including Box, OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive and Evernote.

          #5. Genius Scan

            Genius Scan is mainly a document scanner app, but can also be used to scan photos. It is available for iOS, Android and Windows phone. It has the capability to turn your old photos into PDF or JPEG files, and features smart-edge detection, image enhancement, and perspective correction.

            To scan, position your phone’s camera directly over the photo, such that the photo fits fully within frame. It will show you an outline of the photo’s edges it detects. Snap a picture and make any cropping adjustments if needed. This app offers the option to use flash, but this caused glare in scans. We found it better to scan in a naturally well-lit place.

            The app allows organising photos with tags and titles, and has a good search feature. Digitised photos can be shared to social media with ease.

            Genius Scan can be downloaded free. However, you will need to upgrade to the paid version ($2.99) to upload photos or documents to Evernote, Dropbox or Google Docs.

            There are also a few other photo scanner apps, such as Unfade, Photomyne and Heirloom.

            Conclusion

            You don’t have to stress about your old memories fading away in some forgotten corner of the house. With these 5 apps, you can scan photos in hours instead of weeks. Now you can share all of those “Kodak” moments with friends and family on social media.

            More by this author

            Abhay Jeet Mishra

            Writer at Lifehack & Enterested.com

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            Last Updated on February 15, 2019

            7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

            7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

            Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

            Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

            Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

            So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

            Joe’s Goals

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              Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

              Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

              Daytum

                Daytum

                is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                Excel or Numbers

                  If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                  What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                  Evernote

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                    I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                    Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                    Access or Bento

                      If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                      Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                      You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                      Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                      All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                      Conclusion

                      I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                      What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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