Wednesday, November 26, 2008

iPhone – Doesn’t have an app comparable to the Android’s ShopSavvy

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 -

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 in action


Anonymous said...

Yeah. The iPhone sdk sucks when it comes to camera access. All apps I have installed must go through the same lame process: 1. start camera 2. take picture 3. confirm picture 4. wait until the picture is saved 5. the app can do something with the pic. That's just too much!!

But; I must say, I really like Snappr. I tried their mobile site at on my BB some days ago and am now comparing prices all the time. Looking forward to Black Friday! ;)

I guess the strength of these guys is more to be on different mobile browsers than decoding 1D Barcodes. As you can also search for product names.

Maybe ShopSavvy should partner with them when it comes to search for product info? I have the feeling that Snappr has a lot of good data?!

Anybody got some feedback on how ShopSavvy works in real life?

Anonymous said...

@Harry we have an iPhone version, but Apple has yet to approve it for the last two month. We are not certain why they won't, but we are hopeful that you will eventually be able to have the ShopSavvy experience on the iPhone.

I think if you compare the results from snappr and ShopSavvy you will immediately see the difference. I checked out Snapper (while I don't like to talk about someone else's product...). I think the video really explains it all: (Snapper's product) (ShopSavvy)

Major differences:

- ShopSavvy scans the barcode AND decodes the UPC on the handset. Snapper takes a photo of the UPC and sends it to a server. The result is that ShopSavvy gives you an immediate result versus a delayed result.

- ShopSavvy provides prices in the application. Snapper sends you to a WAP enabled webpage. The result is that the user does not need to wait for a webpage to load - instead we stream prices (as they are found) to the application where they appear to the user. The user can then act on the results in a number of unique ways.

- ShopSavvy provides local prices in additional online prices

ShopSavvy is the second most popular application in Google's Android Market. Snapper has a two star rating in the Application store (not very good). The reason ShopSavvy has been so popular is that the action (i.e. the scanning action) is realtime. Snapper does not provide a satisfying user experience. To be honest, ShopSavvy is a business and Snapper seems like an interesting project.

ShopSavvy has been getting fairly good press of late including an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel:

streetstylz said...

Regarding ShopSavvy:

In an effort to educate the public and raise the question of patentability, NeoMedia has multiple patents that cover scanning UPC codes with a camera enabled mobile device to connect to the Internet, comparison shop, and/or retrieve online content.