ShopSavy For Windows Phone 7

When I check the Windows Phone Marketplace I look for apps that I know run on the Android or iPhone phones. Porting apps from the other smartphone platforms to Windows Phone is important to attract users from the other platforms. One app that has been ported to Windows Phone is ShopSavvy.

ShopSavvy is the original barcode scanning and search app for Android phones. I believe the app was first developed as part of Google’s developers contest for Android. The idea behind the app is pretty simple, you use the phone’s camera to take a picture of a product bar code, and ShopSavvy then translates the bar code, searches for the product, and presents a price list for the product. Price lists are provided from web sites and local retailers.

I installed ShopSavvy on my HD7 and Nexus S to compare how it runs on Windows Phone and Android, and you notice significant differences when you take a picture of a product bar code. The Android version automatically focuses on and takes a picture of the product bar code, while the Windows Phone version requires you to manually focus and take the picture, just as you do with every other picture on the phone. The result is while the first picture on Android was good enough to read the barcode, I had to take pictures several times on the HD7 before the app could read the barcode.

Both apps successfully retrieved results form the web and local retailers. I was actually surprised that the Windows Phone retrieved local prices for Lysol Disinfecting Wipes while the Android version did not. The Windows Phone 7 version of ShopSavvy does not have all the features, like Wish Lists and Price Alerts, as the Android version. It does retain a history of the products that you have scanned.

I think the lack of auto scanning on the Windows Phone version makes it much more difficult to use than on Android, and hopefully that feature can be added in a future release of the product. For now, if you have a Windows Phone and want a bar code scanning app, ShopSavvy is an option to consider despite its limitations.