Google Shopper Android Application Launches

What do you get when you combine Barcode Scanner by ZXing Barcode, Google Goggles and the “Shopping Tab” on Google.com? The Google Shopping Android Application which just launched on Android Market! I quickly downloaded the app and gave it a quick spin in this on-the-fly hands-on review; I literally had downloaded the application 5 minutes before.

A more concise overview/explanation video of Google Shopper was published by Google and you can watch below. They pretty much summarize my 8-minute video in less than 1.5 minutes, produced in much better quality but without hinting at any application imperfections. Heck – it’s the promotional video:

I totally agree with some commenters/reviewers that Google Shopper overlaps with Google Goggles and this is a challenge Google will continue to face. They’ve also got technologies headbutting with GMail, Google Voice, Google Buzz and Google Wave – that’s 4 different inboxes and accounts they’re asking you check on a daily basis. As they continue their attempt to provide more and better services, this problem will grow.

The solution isn’t as easy as you think. Sure… they could start combining applications, merging them together and allowing you to make your various selections in the app, but as the app grows in complexity you may end up resorting to a simpler application that just does the singular thing you need most (and do/does it/them well).

I was also surprised that (in my first test) Google Shopper:

  • First heard “Nexus One” as “Lexis 1″ – speech recognition is usually pretty accurate
  • Then found “Nexus 1″ and not “Nexus One” – where is your contextual search algo Google? It ended up finding a bunch of accessories
  • Couldn’t find any results for “Wizard Of Oz” when there should be a TON of merchandise for that keyword

I’m not sure how Google Shopper compares to other shopping apps like Shop Savvy and Amazon’s own native Android Application, but I’ll at least be using Google Shopper for a week or two to test it out. I love the simplicity, the UI, the improved scanning functions that seem to be ported over from Google Goggles, and perhaps most of all the ability to easily view search history and make a list using “stars”.

I’m guessing that Google plans on syncing your mobile “Shopping List” with your Google.com account shopping list on your desktop. However, 20 minutes after I starred a few items I still didn’t see anything in my desktop list:

shopper-list

I’m sure Google will make improvements to the application over time and I’m excited to see where they bring Google Shopper. And perhaps more curiously, how they incorporate Google Goggles and all their other products into a suite of apps that don’t step on eachothers feet. I guess when it comes down to it… there is nothing wrong with offering users apps that overlap – the important thing is they have a great selection of awesome apps that serve a wide range of purposes.

shopper-phones

You can download Google Shopper on any Android Phone through Android Market.

google-shopper-qr

UPDATE: Just found Google’s blog post making the announcement.

Continue reading:




  • RM

    I duplicated your searches and got the same results for “Nexus 1″, however “Wizard of Oz” gave me a million results.

    One thing I noticed in your video was that your voice captures were generally ‘clipped’, i.e. you appeared to be talking too loudly for the phone to process it. Not sure if that was part of the problem.

    Try “Wizard of Oz” again.

  • anon

    So I like it and I’ll download it even if it sort of overlaps with Savvy Shopper and similar barcode shoppers.

    However, I just finished watching some clips of Network and Soylent Green on Google’s YouTube, and that last little part, with the 3D CGI Slickbacked Stereotyped Hipster Software Engineer telling us all in that syntho robot voice that it is now available and we must now download it to our Google Nexus with the subliminal audio cheering and video frames inserted of crowds in stadiums going wild, ….

    That was kind of creepy.

  • mendy

    was curious about the difference between results from goggles and shopper so did a quick experiment using a pic of the eiffel tower:

    -goggles brought it up right away, directing me to search results for the landmark

    -shopper took a while, then brought me to “jimmy dunn – sheetrockin’ the eiffel tower” cd.

    google should really just streamline the 2 apps. very cool, either way though.

  • mi_canuck

    i like the fact that the scanner “beam” is automatic and you can see it swipe… works quite well! awesome app by google yet again! (sky map is still the coolest! ;)

  • txasbubba

    I’m intrigued by how Google resolves the multiple inboxes. For reasons you stated, I think they need to keep them separate. But they sort have a couple of approaches:

    + email notices (like with Google Voice messages)
    + Easy access to each inbox (as with the Buzz on the left menu within Gmail)

    But I think there’s a difference between Shopper and Goggles: While they use overlapping tech, one leads to pricing info while the other is a web search. From my computer, often that distinction is negligible. But phones tend to have very discreet, focused apps to minimize navigation and filtering.

  • http://www.nooksurfer.com NookSurfer

    Pretty interesting application. It seems like it works better than some of the ones that Apple offers. This one seems like it does more than just scan the bar code.

  • Pingback: “Google Shopper now available in Android Market” and related posts « Blog()

  • Tim

    This is awesome, but unfortunately aimed at US Consumers. When will Google release the UK version of Shopper, with UK prices?

    I’ll be watching this space.