Today, I got a chance to play with the Shop-Savvy application which is available only for the Android running G1 phone and I have just one thing to say “wow”. ShopSavvy is simple, easy and fun to use. All you do is get your camera close to the bar-code and the application does the rest…… it automatically detects the bar-code, captures it and sends it off to ShopSavvy to get you a list of prices at various stores. (I can’t count the number of items that I tried scanning today with the G1 – Pepsi bottles, Coke cans, Doritos bags, books – anything that had a barcode and was within arms length was scanned – and ShopSavvy did not fail even once).
Compare this to the applications available on the iPhone (Snappr for instance).
The Apple does not allow developers access to the complete phone’s capabilities via its SDK. This means that one has to take a picture, then resize it (and or rotate it) and only then is the barcode image available to the application to send and get results back. Compared to the ShopSavvy’s simple steps (just point at the barcode), iPhone’s barcode reading applications feel like they are from the 19th century. (iPhone app – Snappr - http://www.snappr.net/)
Apple’s crippled SDK doesnt allow for developers to create innovative and user friendly apps for the iPhone. Whereas the Android platform provides developers complete access to the hardware and allows them to create cool and useful apps. If Apple does not open up its SDK, I am sure that it will loose its fight against Android based phones.
T-Mobile Ad showing ShopSavvy in action and a demo of ShopSavvy
iPhone app Snappr.net in action