Barcode iPhone App Month: SnapTell




Price: Free | Link to App Store

SnapTell is a shopping comparison app for books, CDs, DVDs that utilized barcodes and image recognition.

There are a lot of generalize shopping apps, but my Dad always says, “Just find one thing you can do and do it really well.” Apparently, the makers of SnapTell have talked to my Dad. For books, DVDs and CDs, SnapTell is my go-to barcode shopping app. I spend more time in the bookstore than I'd like to admit, and since discovering SnapTell I've saved a ton of money on books.

Like most shopping apps, you scan the barcode of an item you're looking at and it pulls up local and online prices for comparison. The barcode scanner has a built-in steadiness meter saving you from blindly standing there pointing your camera at the barcode, wondering if anything is happening. Once it detects the code it loads a progress bar so you know to hold still. And just when you thought it couldn't get any better, you discover that you are holding in your hands the future of the barcode industry: image recognition. You can find a book, CD, DVD or video game just by taking a photo of it. I've conducted extensive testing and have only been able to stump the app twice. So, if you're at a friend's house and they have a book by some obscure Eastern European author that they won't lend you, you can take a photo of it with SnapTell and the app will find it for you. Amazing.

The downside is that only two of my local booksellers are represented. My favorite bookstore is not one of the two, but apparently, it is the most expensive. I almost spent $26.99 for A Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving, but SnapTell informed me that I could get it on the next block for $15.00.

SnapTell has also made one of my favorite (yet possibly reproachable) weekly practices more efficient. Go to the bookstore, buy a latte, spend an hour blissfully browsing and ultimately buy from Amazon. I know, I know, it sounds dirty, but I'm a single mom and if I can get save 70% on Amazon— I have to do it. With SnapTell, I can scan the book I want, pull up the lowest price on Amazon right there, and buy, all in a matter of minutes. It provides double the pleasure; first when I order the book and all over again when it arrives on my doorstep.

Also available for Android.

Visit our Mobile Barcode Apps Link page for a list of barcode apps you might like.

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The Point of Sale News, an online magazine dedicated to the retail industry.

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