The team at SnipSnap has been quietly plugging away on an Android version of its popular mobile coupon app for what seems like ages now, but the wait for all you cost-conscious Android devotees is over. After some seven months in development, the Philly-based startup has finally pushed its eponymous app into the Google Play Store.
If you’ve missed our previous coverage, here’s SnipSnap in a nutshell — it’s an iOS and Android app that lets users digitally save and share their coupons. In addition to just storing those coupons, users can seek out friends and popular couponers to follow, as well as accept deals from a slew of retail partners.
The last time we spoke, SnipSnap founder Ted Mann told me that the official Android build of the app would be out the door in August 2012. That little deadline came and went with little fanfare, but as it turns out the past few months have been kind to the company. SnipSnap officially tiptoed past 500,000 registered users a ways back, and saw user engagement (measured by coupon snippings in this case) jump four-fold since the more socially oriented 2.0 release of the SnipSnap iOS app.
SnipSnap’s Android app is nearly identical to its iOS cousin when it comes to functionality (save for obvious bits like the lack of Passbook support), which is always sort of refreshing to see. When a small company with limited resources is working on two versions of an app, there’s a tendency for one build to pull ahead of the other in terms of features and polish, and that’s not the case here… mostly.
There’s a very neat Android-specific feature that hasn’t yet been implemented, but could greatly increase the efficacy of the app in certain situations. The issue with simply displaying barcodes on a smartphone’s screen is that it just doesn’t always work — depending on the retailer’s point-of-sale setup (it seems to happen most at grocery stores), the scanner may not be able to get a bead on the barcode image.
To help combat that (albeit in a limited way), SnipSnap has also revealed that they’re working with the team at Mobeam to bring greater accuracy to the process by way of beamable barcodes. Sadly, that particular feature is slated to remain a Galaxy S4 exclusive for the time being since it’s the only device that lets apps take over the front-facing infrared proximity sensor, but that may not be the case for long. Mobeam CEO Chris Sellers confirmed to TechCrunch last week that the company has been in talks with multiple handset manufacturers, so the promise of scanner-friendly digital coupons for the masses may not be too far off after all.
SnipSnap allows anyone to convert a printed coupon into a digital, mobile format, which they can easily search and retrieve on their smartphone. All a user needs to do is snap a picture of the offer (be it from a newspaper insert, direct-mail piece, or otherwise) and the app works its magic to scan all of the printed text and images. Once scanned, a user can not only redeem, but also get expiration-date notifications and in-store reminders. Ted Mann...