Google Stack app can scan all your documents for you — here’s how it works

Google Stacks
(Image credit: Google)

Google has announced an exciting new app called Stacks. It promises to bring order to chaos and create organizational solutions where none previously existed. At least that's what it promises for documents and receipts. Presumably, the rest of your life is up to you to deal with. 

The app is one that feels like it already exists in some form or other. You point the phone camera at the document you’d like to scan and it will take a snap. It does, however, look at what you’ve snapped and make some artificially intelligent decisions about what you’re showing it. 

The project comes from an acquisition Google made called Socratic. It initially was used for education, but founder Christopher Pedregal took what he learned and applied it to the exciting world of receipts. 

When you take the photo of your document, the AI black box analyzes what it can see and tries to decide how to file it away for you. If it notices a store logo, it can pop it in receipts and can see dates and times.

The AI will also look for due dates for payments, total amounts due, and it will help you find these documents again. So that nagging feeling you’ve got about a bill that’s due, have a quick search in the app and you can put your mind to rest. And yes, it was due three weeks ago, and yes, you are getting a big fine for missing the deadline. 

If you’re worried what will happen when Google inevitably loses interest in this and shuts it down, worry no more. The documents are simply stored in your Google Drive, so they’ll always be available to refer back to. The app will be gone, but your documents will be safe and well. 

The Stack app is available now in the Google Play store, although please bear in mind that for some reason it’s only available in the US. There’s no indication when, or if, it will be extended out to other countries. 

Ian has been involved in technology journalism since 2007, originally writing about AV hardware back when LCDs and plasma TVs were just gaining popularity. Nearly 15 years on, he remains as excited as ever about how tech can make your life better. Ian is the editor of but has also regularly contributed to Tom's Guide.