Android phones just got a handy update to take the sting out of scanning

Google Pixel 7a using the scan function in Files by Google
(Image credit: Future / James Ide)

Scanning documents and images can be a a faff requiring specific apps and devices, which is why a new update to the Files by Google app could be a boon. 

Spotted by Android tipster Mishaal Rahman, the latest update for Files by Google, a free file management app built into some Android devices, allows users to scan things like documents, images of passports with a quick tap of a new 'Scan' button in the app. This then opens up a phone's camera app, letting you line up the document as you see fit and then scan it manually or rely on an auto-capture function. 

After that you can then can crop, rotate, clean, and apply filters to your scans, and the app also allows you to merge multiple scans into a single document. Once done, the scan will be saved as a PDF and stored in the 'Scanned' tab of the Files app under 'Documents'; they can also be found in the 'Files by Google/scanned' folder in your phone's storage.

Screen grabs of new scanning feature in Files by Google app

(Image credit: Future / James Ide)

It's been reported that this new scanning feature is a Google Pixel exclusive, but that doesn't appear to be the case with users noting that the feature is rolling out on various devices. And I was able to test the scanner on the Nothing Phone 2 and the OnePlus Pad.

The scanner functions similarly to Google Drive scanning, introduced in November last year, and even uses the same UI. But it's arguably more helpful to have this front and center in the more commonly used Files app.

Files by Google was launched on December 5, 2017, and allows users to manage their storage and find files without navigating a maze of folders. It can also play videos, music, and podcasts, and open images, apps, and documents. 

With the ability to scan and share effortlessly with phones, most desk-based scanners will continue to gather dust. The Files update makes scanning more convenient than ever and makes Google Files even more versatile, helping users digitize documents instantly and scan them on the fly.

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Staff Writer, Mobile Computing

James Ide is a writer for TechRadar specializing in phones and tablets, having previously worked at The Daily Mirror since 2016, covering news and reviews.  

James loves messing with the latest tech, especially phones due to their incredibly rapid pace of development.

When not surrounded by various devices and/or tinkering with gadgets while putting them through their paces, James has a love of handheld consoles.

He is almost the textbook definition of a geek, who loves sci-fi, comics, games and of course, all things tech. If you think you have a story for him or just want to challenge him at Smash Bros, get in touch.