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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 July 10, 2019

            11 Brain Training Apps to Train Your Mind and Improve Memory

            11 Brain Training Apps to Train Your Mind and Improve Memory

            Whether at work or at school, people these days are under tremendous pressure to perform, perform and perform! Stress and pressure can have adverse affects on the well-being of a person, and need to be controlled.

            Now, this doesn’t mean you make a dash to your nearest therapist. There are a number of wonderful and smart apps that you can use on your phone. These brain training apps have been scientifically designed to target specific areas of the human mind and control harmful emotions such as anxiety, as well as to improve memory and sharpness of the brain.

            Here are 11 iPhone apps that you will not only enjoy but also find useful in keeping your mental health balanced at all times.

            1. Lumosity

            This app consists of games that focus on improving the user’s memory, problem-solving capability, attention span, and thinking. There are three games in each session, and they challenge the brain by changing every time. The user has to complete the games while playing against a clock.

            Free of trial. $15 per month for the full version.

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            Luminosity Mind training apps-Lifehack

              2. Fit Brains Trainer

              This brain training app has 10 sets of games that work on different areas of the brain and improve memory as well as concentration. A user is required to finish a particular task from each category on a daily basis and the app tracks the progress by a color coded graph.

              Free.

              Fit Brains Trainer Mind training apps-Lifehack

                3. CogniFit Brain Fitness

                Developed with the help of neuroscientists, this fun app improves a person’s cognitive abilities, which includes memory and concentration. The progress made by the user over a period of time can be tracked. Users can also play challenge rounds with their friends. The app also modifies the difficulty level to suit the profile of the user and provide recommendations based on the results. Spending 20–30 minutes a few times every week can give measurable improvement in the performance of a user.

                First four games free, then $13 a month.

                cognifit-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

                  4. Brain Fitness Pro

                  The makers of this app claim that it can improve the IQ of a user, and improve intelligence and memory. The app is fun and is user friendly, and 30 minutes a day can fetch you results in less than three weeks.

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                  Buy for $3.99.

                  5. Happify

                  If nothing else makes you happy in life, this app will. Well, this is what the developers claim at least. This app comes loaded with lots of quizzes, polls and gratitude journals, which work on the fundamentals of positive psychology. The app also helps to control stress and emotions to make you feel better.

                  Free to use.

                  Happify-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

                    6. Clockwork Brain

                    You will like the little gold robot that comes in every time to explain the next game you are going to play. While the games are not much different to those offered in apps such as Luminosity, the look and feel reminds me of a workshop from old times.

                    Free.

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                    Clockwork Trsin-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

                      7. ReliefLink

                      Initially created as an app for suicide prevention, it has found its use as a great app for tracking the mood of the user by taking measure of all things relevant to the user’s mental health. In case the user experiences high emotional stress, the app has a coping mechanism that includes voice-recorded mindfulness, exercises and music for relaxation. There is also a map that informs the user of the nearest therapist and medical facilities for mental health treatment.

                      Relief Link - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

                        8. Eidetic

                        Eidetic is a memory enhancement app and uses a ‘spaced repetition’ technique to help users memorize information such as important phone numbers, words, credit card details or passwords. It also notifies you when it’s time to take a test to see what you remember, so that you retain information in your long-term memory.

                        Eidetic - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

                          9. Braingle

                          Braingle helps to maintain the sharpness of the brain and improve the reasoning ability of a person through riddles and optical illusions. It is different from other brain training apps that employ memory and reaction based tests. You can also compete with your friends and family members in figuring out the fun riddles.

                          Free.

                          Briangle- Mind Training Apps-LIfehack

                            10. Not The Hole Story

                            If you have a penchant for solving hard riddles, then this app is a must-have for you. Filled with exclusive riddles along with a simple-to-use interface, the app gives you riddles that you have to solve through a book. You will be given hints along the way, and when you give up, the answers will be revealed. This app will encourage you to broaden your thinking and put your mind to a challenging test.

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                            Free.

                            Not the hole story - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

                              11. Personal Zen

                              This fun brain training app follows the journey of two animated characters who travel through a field of grass. Personal Zen is a nice app meant for reducing anxiety and trains the brain to focus on the positive aspects. The developer’s advice is to use the app for 10 minutes a day to see the best results.

                              Free.

                              personal zen- mind training apps - lifehack

                                Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

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