May, 14 2009

Great Barcode Scanning applications are already on the Android Market – nod to ShopSavvy – but Google has just added that function to their own stable of services within Google Product Search. A post published on the Official Google Mobile Blog highlights the addition.

Here are the quick and easy steps:

1) Visit
2) Press “More” > “Shopping”
3) Press the “Scan Barcode” button:
4) Click the link to download Barcode Scanner from Android Market if it is not yet installed
5) Go back to that Google Shopping page and choose “Scan Barcode” again
6) Check “use by default for this action” and press “Barcode Scanner” so you don’t have to reselect every time
7) Scan barcode and watch the item appear for sale on Google Shopping!

Google Shopping suffers from the same issues as apps like ShopSavvy – it usually only works with certain types of products and Google acknowledges this:

Today, barcode scanning works best for products like electronics, books, movies or video games, but we’re working on adding more barcodes for other items. Of course, if your scan does not return a result, you can always type in the product name just as before.

This is pretty awesome if you ask me and an obvious next step for Google. Although I feel kind of bad for ShopSavvy who seem to be getting cornered out of the market, everything is free game and I’m sure that ShopSavvy will have its fair share of users stick around.

It is interesting to note that Jeffrey Sharkey, an Android Developer Challenge 1 Winner, was the developer behind a barcode scanning/shopping application called Compare Everywhere and he is now a Google employee working on the Google Android Team. However, he didn’t know about this new feature until I told him! Jeffrey informed me that he has been extremely busy with other fun stuff like widgets, for example.

Be warned, this is only available in the US and UK on Android Phones.

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