APS film or Advanced Photo System is a discontinued film type that was fairly common at the end of the 90s. The negatives are kept inside the cartridge, even after development. It’s a tiny and fiddly film to work with, but the smartphone film scanner makes scanning this film an easy job!
About 17 years ago I bought a compact camera that used APS cartridges. They were easy to use and easy to store. After you had sent your film out to a lab for development they sent it back exactly the same way: the film neatly stored inside the cartridge. Now that I got the smartphone film scanner I have finally come around to scanning those old negatives.
This type of film doesn’t have the lead sticking out, not even when it is unexposed.So in order to get the film out of the cartridge you have to open it. It’s a simple job that takes about 5 seconds. The easiest way is to cut the label that covers the back seam (opposite to where the film comes out) and pry it open. Once the cartridge is open you can take out the little spool with your film wound around it.
You’ll notice that the film is tiny and always wanting the coil back up. Imagine having to put that through a flatbed scanning process! The good thing is that if you use the film scanner, it gets a lot easier. Just feed the film through the scanner, right in the middle between the wheels that normally grip the sprockets. The film has no sprockets, so the advance wheel doesn’t work, but you can simply pull the film through by hand.
Just feed the film from one side to the other, scanning all the images on it. When the last one is done you can cut the film from the spool and pull the last bit through. Or you can do as I did and leave it attached to the spool, pull it all the way back the other side, tightly wind it up again and pop it back in the cartridge. Done!