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Top Android App: Google Goggles

Posted on Dec 8, 2009 in Tools, Top Rated Apps | comment

Google Goggles is the newest release for Google on Android.  Instead of using words or voice to search for an item or location, now you can use your camera!  Simply take a picture of an item or your surroundings and the app will attempt to recognize what has been captured.  From there, the app will return relevant search results using their Google search engine.  This is a great development for items that are tough to describe, like a monument in a place you’ve never been before.

Application: Google Goggles

Version: 1.0
Size: 486KB
Category: Tools
Price: Free
Overall Score: 4.8/5
User Interface: 4.5/5
Ease of Use: 4.5/5
Customizability: 5/5
Originality: 5/5
Indispensability: 5/5
Some of the items that Google Goggles recommends you use with this app:
·         Books & DVDs
·         Landmarks
·         Logos
·         Contact info
·         Artwork
·         Businesses
·         Products
·         Barcodes
·         Text
And some of the items that Google Goggles does not recommend you use with this app:
·         Animals
·         Plants
·         Cards
·         Furniture
·         Apparel
Also, the app recommends using the left landscape to take pictures for best results.
Here’s a YouTube video from Google describing the app and how to use it.

So far I’ve tried this app with a few different items.  A couple items had obscure/rare logos and they were not recognized.  Then I tried the 2nd book in the Twilight series (New Moon) and it had no problem recognizing it and giving me relevant results.

A nice feature is that the app stores a history of all your searches (if you choose so) so you can comeback at a later time to remember what you saw and searched for at a particular time.

Another great feature that may often get overlooked is that Google Goggles will also show nearby businesses in your camera view (based on your GPS location).  When you see the small info box at the bottom of the screen you can click on it to return a search result for that business location.  This page will subsequently show you the location’s name, website, phone number, web results, and more information.  In one touch all this information is yours.  Incredible.

Right off the bat, this is a great app that really displays Android’s functionality and utility in your everyday life.  You can’t possibly skip out on this app for your Android device.  Go get it!

Note: Unfortunately, Google Goggles is only available for Android phones running Android 1.6 or later.  Hopefully all phones running 1.5 will upgraded sooner rather than later.

Scan with Barcode Scanner for direct link to Google Goggles in the Android Market.

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Top Android App: Key Ring Reward Cards

Posted on Dec 6, 2009 in Tools, Top Rated Apps | comment

Key Ring Reward Cards is developed by Froogloid, LLC and uses the barcode scanner on your device to recreate digital copies of all your reward cards.  Know you don’t have to search through your wallet or purse for reward and discount cards, you have them at the tip of your finger.

Application: Key Ring Reward Cards

Version: 1.3.21
Size: 593KB
Category: Tools
Price: Free
Overall Score: 4.7/5
User Interface: 4.5/5
Ease of Use: 4.5/5
Customizability: 5/5
Originality: 4.5/5
Indispensability: 5/5
Adding a card is extremely easy once you’re in the app.  Simply click ‘Add Card’ to open a window where you have the option of either scanning a barcode to add it to the app, or you can also use the keypad to manually type in the code that is located on the card.  With this versatile functionality, Key Ring allows you to add any barcode or non-barcode cards.
Once you’ve scanned the card you then select the retailer that it belongs to.  Key Ring currently supports over 650 global retailers so you shouldn’t have a problem with many of the cards you find yourself carrying around everyday.  Here’s a few photos to show the quick step-by-step process.
Overall, Key Ring Reward Cards is extremely useful in consolidating all your retail/discount cards into one place.  This way you never have to bother with carrying around countless cards again.  This app is a great demonstration of the ability of Android to make life easier.  We recommend you start trying out this app if you haven’t already done so.
If you have any trouble with scanners being unable to recognize a code, watch Froogloid’s short YouTube video which includes their tips on how to maximize the effectiveness of their app.

Scan with Barcode Scanner for direct link to Key Ring Reward Cards in the Android Market.

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