PhotoScan by Google Photos is not an application you are bound to be using every other day. In fact, in this mobile first, digital first world that we live in today, going forward, there’s likely to be even less need for it. My weird self, for instance, went through 4 years of college without ever taking a printed photo. Everything is either stored in a hard drive somewhere in soft copy or hosted at a data centre thousands of miles away from where I am right now by one of the many cloud services that I rely on for that specific function.
But things have not always been like this. I went to high school at a time when it was still ok to have a Kshs 1,000 Kodak film camera to carry around during school trips, Digital cameras were pricey and the reserve of the cool kids in school and our idea of a smartphone was limited to Nokia N series devices and bulky BlackBerrys. I have lots of such photos. I like sharing them one by one every Thursday on Facebook as part of that addictive #TBT vibe. Come on, you’ve all done it too. Previously, I relied on a flatbed scanner to digitize those images and make them Facebook-ready. Other people use their smartphones. For this smartphone crowd, the results are not always flattering. More often than not, many end up with the smartphone camera flash peering through the images and shifting focus from the terrible 90s poses to the camera flash.
Google sought to change all that with PhotoScan, an app it launched back in November last year. From the look of things, the app, which has already been downloaded over a million times from the Play Store, is just what the world was waiting for. According to the latest information from Google, nearly 50 million photos have been digitized this way. Maybe that number may not shock you but that’s 50 million problems solved.