Your Chromebook’s neglected Camera app just got a lot smarter. Google is rolling out a ton of genuinely useful new features for the Chromebook Camera app, including the ability to scan documents with your webcam or crop the video feed from external cameras.
How to Scan Documents with Your Chromebook Webcam
Scanning documents with the Chromebook webcam is pretty easy. Just open the Camera app and select the “Scan” mode that’s located under the viewfinder. Hold up a document, and your Chromebook will automatically find its edges and apply a filter to improve legibility.
You can then save the document as a JPG or PDF file and share it over email, Slack, or any other service. And as Google notes, you can use Nearby Share to quickly send scanned documents to your Android phone or another Chromebook.
This feature works on front-facing or rear-facing Chromebook cameras, so if you have a Chrome OS tablet, you’re good to go!
Other New Chromebook Webcam Features
Along with its new document scanner, the Chromebook Camera app now features video recording support, a QR code scanner, a self timer for hands-free shots, and a “save for later” option that tucks all of your photos or video recordings into the “Camera” folder in your Files app.
And for those who use external webcams, the Camera app now supports Pan-Tilt-Zoom controls! You can customize the way your webcam works in the Camera app, and its settings will carry over to Google Meet, Zoom, and other video chat solutions. (Unfortunately, this feature only works with external webcams.)
In the future, Google promises to bring Google Assistant controls to the Camera app for fully hands-free photos or videos. The company also says that the Camera app will eventually support GIFs, allowing you to make custom five-second GIFs with yourself or your friends.