Some smartphone apps that are designed specifically for scanning or capturing digital versions of photographic prints can do a bit more than just take a picture of the picture. When searching for a portable scanning program, read its listed set of features on its app store page — tools like edge detection, perspective correction and color enhancement can make a battered print look much better after its digital conversion.
Google PhotoScan, which was released last year for Android and iOS gadgets, is one free app with a lot of tools for turning your photo prints into decent digital copies; for a visual introduction to the software, a demonstration video is available on YouTube. To scan a picture, you move the camera over several areas of the print as the app guides you. PhotoScan then merges all of the parts and removes any glare from the light in the room. The combined image is straightened, cropped and color-enhanced to make it look as good as possible. You can save it locally, or if you use Google Photos, you can automatically back up your PhotoScan files to the cloud.
Other photo-scanning apps to check out include Photomyne, which has free basic and $5 versions for Android and iOS devices and can capture multiple images at once. Apps to convert documents as well as photos include TurboScan (for Android and iOS) and CamScanner, which offers versions for Android, iOS and Windows Phone.
If you have boxes of old albums that you want to digitize, you need negatives or slides converted, or have damaged photos in need of repair, a professional service like Memories2Disk or RetroMedia is another option.