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Best Photo Scanner Apps that will Surprise You (Pleasantly)

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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.

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            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.

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            Abhay Jeet Mishra

            Writer at Lifehack & Enterested.com

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            Last Updated on November 25, 2021

            How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

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            How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

            There comes a time when we may be searching online and don’t want the browser to remember our footsteps. The reasons don’t always have to be what we obviously think of as the main reason; for example, sometimes, you may not want Safari to remember your passwords or prompt you to enter your password when surfing the web.

            Whatever the reason, we may think that we are totally in the clear with Private Browsing on Safari and the other browsers on a Mac. However, a quick Terminal command can bring up every website you’ve visited. How do you do this? Also, how do you clear your tracks for good? We will provide both answers and more today.

              What Does Private Browsing Do?

              When activated, Private Browsing on Safari prevents your browsing history from being kept in the history tab of the application. Along with this, it doesn’t autofill information that you have saved in the browser. In this mode, you essentially become incognito and any references of previous use is essentially hidden when you are in private mode.

              For example: if you are on Facebook or filling out a form and some information or your login is already filled in in the spaces provided, this is called autofill. It’s activated by simply clicking Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menubar and selecting Private Browsing, then clicking “OK” to the prompt.

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              The reasons behind private mode differ for each individual. While we won’t go into all of those reasons, one thing that is  important to remember is that private browsing doesn’t forget the websites you visit. As we will see later on, Macs keep a second copy of the websites you visit in either mode. If you are in frantic mode looking for a solution to this, look no further.

              The Terminal Archive

              While Safari does a good job of keeping your search history out of prying eyes in the history tab, there is a less-than-obvious way to view a full list of visited websites on Mac. This is done in Terminal; the command-line emulator that allows you to make changes to your Mac.

              Terminal is located in the Utilities folder on your Mac. Once activated, simply add the command:

              dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host

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              Once you hit “enter”, a list of the visited sites appear. Showing only the domains, the sites appear in a format of:

              Key: h_name :(website domain)ipv4 :1

              However, there’s no need to fear—there is a way you can clear this information from Terminal with a command that’s just as simple.

              Clearing Your Tracks

              Just as simply as you were able to enter the command to view the websites, you can clear the cache that Terminal showed you with the comamnd:

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              dscacheutil -flushcache

              As the command denotes, this literally “flushes” the domains from Terminal. This does not prevent the record from continuing to be recorded for future sites, however, so if that’s an issue for you, repeat this process regularly.

              Other Browsers and Private Browsing

              Other browsers have this form of privacy mode for their service. They promise many of the same things as Safari, but they do not have the same Terminal issue due to how this command only presents websites visited on Safari (the browser Macs come shipped with).

              If you use Firefox, you’ll notice that its private mode is also known as Private Browsing. Chrome calls private mode Incognito, while Internet Explorer refers to it as InPrivate Browsing. Opera is the newest to the scene, denoting it as Private Tab. Safari is the oldest well-known browser with this feature.

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              As you can see, despite Private Browsing not being 100% private, Terminal allows for your browser to be. In what ways has Terminal helped your life or allowed you to become more productive? Let us know in the comments below.

              Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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