The app that turns physical photos into digital files is shutting down — Heirloom is closing on August 1. The developer is now asking users to download their images before the shutdown to avoid losing data.
Heirloom turned any iOS or Android smartphone camera into a photo scanner. Unlike just snapping a photo with the native camera app, Heirloom would detect the edges of the photo, automatically cropping to include only the image. The software could also correct distortion from holding the camera at an angle.
Heriloom’s developer, Mylestone, is giving up on the program that has been around since 2014 to focus on its new core product of the same name. Mylestone uses artificial intelligence (mixed with actual people) to turn digital photographs into stories that can then be read aloud through digital assistants such as Alexa. The system relies largely on scanned photos, but the company is working to add the ability to link and automatically upload images from social media accounts.
“As much as we love the Heirloom product, it doesn’t fit with our service going forward,” the announcement reads.
Images that are saved on the Heirloom system will be deleted once the software is discontinued, so the company is urging users to open the app and make sure all their files are saved to a device and not just stored in the app. The app allows users to download images either from the internet at heirloom.net or in the app by selecting and saving each image to the smartphone’s camera roll.
While Heirloom was a fairly novel idea when the app first launched, several programs now offer similar capability, ditching the scanner for faster smartphone-based scanning. Google’s PhotoScan, launched in 2016, takes care of a similar task — and Mylestone recommends users download PhotoScan as an alternative. The most recent update even allows the program to eliminate the glare from overhead lights that sometimes happens when scanning in glossy photos — taking the image from multiple angles allows the software to put the pieces together and remove that section of glare. Adobe Scan also turns a smartphone camera into a scanner, but designed for documents, the program can recognize text, making the app searchable.
The Heirloom app will remain accessible until Mylestone shutters the service on August 1.