Last week, I found a perfect iPhone app for the year-end holidays, thanks to Paul’s Google Reader Shared Items feed.
SnapTell processes the image and returns online prices to purchase it, as well as a link to Barnes and Noble, its Wikipedia entry and keyword searches for the item on Google and Yahoo. You can also send an email to share that you’ve snapped an image; the email targets sharing the SnapTell app, not the item you snapped, which seems like a fail.
This app is perfect this time of year, when people are rabidly consuming. It’s like an instant gratification wishlist; say you’re shopping and see something you’d like. Snap a picture of it, including links to buy it online and fire that off via email to all the people who are shopping for you.
If I were Amazon or any online retailer, this would be a perfect app to acquire and deploy right now. How many times have you been out shopping, seen something in a store and thought you would check its price online later? SnapTell works great for that because you can make an informed decision right away.
Anyway, Lifehacker mentions that SnapTell is similar to the Barcode app, which I’ve also tested a bit. I like both because they both have use cases. Bar codes are unique, and you can use the Barcode app on anything, not just media (DVDs, CDs, games, books). SnapTell has a pictoral representation of what you snapped, which helps jog the memory when a bar code alone wouldn’t. Both are pretty helpful.
These apps remind me of creating a wedding registry, walking around a store scanning stuff you think you need.
Most of all, apps like these show the true power of the iPhone as a transformative device. I still heart my old skool Edge network, Gen 1 iPhone.