Google Photos is getting a number of updates today that improve the editing experience with the help of machine learning and more manual controls. Additionally, a novel standalone PhotoScan app allows you to digitize your old physical photos with just your phone.
A majority of old photos exist as physical prints that would be a huge hassle to manually scan. With PhotoScan, Google has created an app that allows you to digitize old prints by just using your smartphone’s camera. Of course, the end result is not as sharp as a scanner, but it is better than just taking a picture thanks to automatic cropping, rotating, and color correction.
Opening PhotoScan automatically launches a camera that overlays four dots on a physical photo. Similar to a photo sphere, you just simply move your phone across the four points. Once complete, users can immediately move on to another photo.
There is an option to automatically upload to Google Photos, but photos captured here can also be saved to the camera roll or be shared with another app.
Google Photos is also adding a trio of new photo editing features. Auto enhance now makes “pro editor” enhancements to photos like balancing exposure and saturation to bring out the details. Filters are no longer applied generically, but rather use machine intelligence to make edits based on the individual photo. Brightness, darkness, warmth, or saturation is taken into account before applying each of the 12 styles.
Lastly, the editor is adding more granular controls in the form of sliders for Light and Color, including: Exposure, Contrast, Whites, Highlights, and Shadows.