Top Three Apps You Can Use to Convert Old Photos, Negatives to Digital Images

If your photos are not backed up, this is your friendly reminder to do so now. You would be heartbroken if you lost all those memories. Tap or click the surefire steps to make the job much easier.

When it comes to old photos lying around, you don’t need to pay for an expensive scanning service or buy a scanner. You can use an app to do the job. Here are three great options:

PhotoScan by Google Photos

Google’s PhotoScan is a free app for iOS and Android that scans your photos multiple times, then stitches all the images together to eliminate reflections and improve the quality of the final image. The application works on matte, glossy prints and photos inside or outside of albums.

Technical instructions: Colorize old black and white family photos

Here’s how it works: Take one photo, then take four additional photos as instructed by the app. PhotoScan uses an algorithm to detect and crop the photo, automatically detect the edge, correct rotation and correct perspective to display a front view.

• Open the Scanning photos app and hold your phone over a photo.

• Press the Capture button to take photos, which will be saved to your device.

• Move your phone to get the circle on each of the four points.

• After the photo is processed, press the photo thumbnail.

Select a picture to rotate, adjust corners or delete.

You can then use Google Photos to store and organize your scans. From there, you can edit your images and share them with others.

Tap or click here to download for iPhone.

Tap or click here to download for Android.

Microsoft objective

Microsoft Lens (formerly Office Lens) is a free professional scanning application that works with documents, whiteboards, business cards, receipts, menus, signs, handwritten memos, or anything else that contains text that you want to import to your phone. This is certainly better than typing everything by hand.

The app also works with photos and automatically fixes things like shadows and odd angles.

Microsoft Lens makes scanning photos easy in just a few steps:

• Open Microsoft Lens and swipe left or right near the bottom of the screen and select Photo.

• Aim your camera at the photo you want to take, making sure it’s in the frame. You can activate the flash on and stopped before pressing the camera button to take the photo.

• Now you can Add a new picture to your scan, apply a filter to the image, crop, rotate or delete the image. You can also annotate it or add text.

• Faucet Do once you have finished.

You can save images to your phone’s gallery.

Tap or click here to download for iPhone.

Tap or click here to download for Android.

Improve your photos: 3 Affordable Lenses for Taking Better Photos

A solid option for negatives: FilmBox from Photomyne

FilmBox is a scanning app for iOS and Android that digitizes your camera negatives using only your smartphone.

You can view, capture, and save film negatives, making it easy to browse, organize, and share. FilmBox inverts negative colors in the image to positive, then improves the overall look.

Note: The first scans are free, but you will need to pay a subscription if you want to capture more. A two-year plan costs $39.99 and provides unlimited access to the app and its features.

All you need is a light source and your smartphone to get started:

• Place your negatives in a dark or dimly lit room. Open the FilmBox app.

• The only light source should be a backlight, which you can get by opening a white screen on a tablet or computer. You can also use the link provided in the app. Set your backlight device to the highest brightness setting.

• Hold your film strip vertically in front of the light and hold it steady. Make sure the perforated borders are included in the scanning screen.

• Hold your negatives about two inches from the light source and press down on the app Capture button.

• Your image will be saved as a digital photo in the app.

Tap or click here to download for iPhone.

Tap or click here to download for Android.

Keep your technological know-how

My popular podcast is called “Kim Komando Today.” It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and callers with tech questions like you from across the country. Look for it wherever you get your podcasts. For your convenience, click the link below for a recent episode.

PODCAST CHOICE: Smart headlights, ads on Apple Maps, finding hidden trackers

Do you use navigation apps while driving? Buckle up. You may have to deal with advertisements cluttering the screen. Also, Ford wants to make night driving easier with its smart headlights. Also, is someone watching you with a hidden tracker? Here are the signs you should watch out for.

Check out my podcast “Kim Komando Today” on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotifyor your favorite podcast player.

Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Komando”.

Discover all the latest technologies on the Kim Komando show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For his daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit his website at

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Three Great Apps You Can Use to Scan Old Photos and Negatives

Jack C. Nugent