On Anderson Live, they do a segment called “Frugal Friday.” I found this segment to be very informative as I began learning the art of being unemployed. In this segment, Anderson’s guest, Andrea Smith, Lifestyle editor for Mashable.com highlighted four shopping apps: ShopSavvy, RedLaser, SnapTell and Google Shopper. I took it upon myself to test out all four of these apps. The following are my thoughts on SnapTell.
First of all, the SnapTell app is free as are all of the apps suggested by Anderson Live, and is a great shopping app to use while shopping on a budget!
SnapTell iPhone App: Works the Same Way as RedLaser?
Anderson Live says that SnapTell “works much the same way as RedLaser.” I have to disagree with this slightly, being that the assumption with the RedLaser app is that you can scan or take a photo of any product. From the very beginning, SnapTell encourages you to “SNAP: a picture of a book, DVD, CD or video game cover!” and you can select a photo you’ve already taken or take a fresh one. “SnapTell is mainly for books, DVDs, CDs or video games” making it a little bit limited. Then you can “SEARCH: any product sold in stores” using a barcode or upc number.
Snapping Using SnapTell
- I wanted to be rebellious and see if SnapTell could handle something that isn’t on their list (DVD, CD or video game cover). I snapped a photo of a copy of Rolling Stone (with Adele on the cover) and I was reminded of the limitations of SnapTell. I was given a list of the products that are supported at this time with a message saying they “are working on adding more product categories.” So instead, I took a picture of Adele’s “21” and it found it in many formats immediately with online pricing and local pricing.
- I once again tested the app with Sex and the City The Complete Collection on DVD. It could not recognize it although I would say that is certainly a DVD. Instead I took a photo of Dawson’s Creek: The Complete Sixth Season and found online pricing as well as local results.
- For my last snap, I took a photo of a book. I snapped Style A to Zoe : The Art of Fashion, Beauty & Everything Glamour by Rachel Zoe. I was taken to the correct product with online pricing as well as local results.
I did not have any video games to test SnapTell with and I’m also curious how snaps work on products that have no words written on them.
Scanning with SnapTell
- Scanning the barcode on Nickel & Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich took me straight to the product. You can own a copy of this book starting at $1.00.
- SnapTell says that you can “SEARCH: any product sold in stores” so I put them to the test, scanning garlic powder. What returned was “Deaf, Dumb, Not Blind (Demo’s & Rareties 80-82)” and I don’t think that would flavor anything very well.
- Scanning the UPC on a bottle of laundry detergent was much more successful than the garlic powder, but returned no local results. The bottle I scanned was purchased locally at Sam’s Club.
- A search for Pitch Perfect, a book by Mickey Rapkin returns no results. Searching for “Pitch Perfect” doesn’t return the film or even soundtrack of the same name.
- A search for “garlic powder” does actually find many results for garlic powder, unlike a scan of an actual bottle of garlic powder.
- Searching for “Rolling Stone” does indeed return results for magazine subscriptions.
- And to be fair, searching for “Sex and the City the complete collection” does return results for my boxed set.
Searching with SnapTell
Overall, I don’t think I can recommend using SnapTell. In the end, it would be much easier to use RedLaser or even (despite its downsides) ShopSavvy.
If you’d like to try SnapTell for yourself, you can download Snaptell from the iTunes Store.