Android Apps – ShopSavvy

Having acquired an Android phone recently, the Samsung Spica, I have obviously been spending a lot of time filling it with the choicest applications from the Android Market. I install many applications every day and remove most of them after checking their utility. I also spend a lot of time checking various top 10, top 20, top 50 or top xx lists of Android application posted all over the internet. Surprisingly, I have found very few places that include this amazing application called ShopSavvy. Which is again surprising since it was the winner of the 2008 Android Developer Challenge. It looks like people have forgotten the utility of this really simple to use but powerful application.

ShopSavvy allows the user to use the onboard camera of their Android phone and scan the barcodes on products. It then displays the details of that product and allows the user to read reviews and check pricing for the same product online, as well as in the local stores by using the location of the user. Products are added continuously to the ShopSavvy database and most of the time you can get all the details. Screen shots below.

ShopSavvy home screen.

ShopSavvy home screen.

You can either scan the code directly using your camera or you can enter the numerical code using the keypad. The barcode scanner is pretty good, although, low light scanning is a challenge and it doesn't seem to handle long strings.

You can either scan the code directly using your camera or you can enter the numerical code using the keypad. The barcode scanner is pretty good, although, low light scanning is a challenge and it doesn't seem to handle long strings.

After a successful scan, the product details are displayed along with the lowest online price and also the lowest lowest local vendor price. There are also links for Reviews of the product.

After a successful scan, the product details are displayed along with the lowest online price and also the lowest lowest local vendor price. There are also links for Reviews of the product.

ShopSavvy displays many online vendors who provide a price for this product. You can choose any of the options and go to the vendor's website to buy the product if you want.

ShopSavvy displays many online vendors who provide a price for this product. You can choose any of the options and go to the vendor's website to buy the product if you want.

The app can take you directly to the listing of the vendor which you chose and complete your transaction if you want to.

The app can take you directly to the listing of the vendor which you chose and complete your transaction if you want to.

The Reviews page gives many user opinions on the product. I don't know where the reviews comes from.

The Reviews page gives many user opinions on the product. I don't know where the reviews comes from.

The app works really well. Its great to be able to check the pricing difference when you are in the mall looking at stuff wondering if they are fleecing  you with their price. The only problem I have with it, is that the pricing is in USD. There should be a converter to INR for it to be more useful in India. Products sold in India do show up after the scan, and you can also convert the currencies in your head and come up with an estimate, but local search is what will really make this a killer application in India.

Until then it is still useful and I look forward to testing it in a real shop when I go out shopping next time.

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