The New ShopSavvy: Faster, Bigger, Stronger

picture-111The development house Big In Japan has just rolled out its 3.5 update to its ShopSavvy Android app. ShopSavvy is the useful app that allows you to use an Android phone’s camera to scan barcodes and get pricing information. More importantly, it allows you to compare prices of that item to prices on the web, where you’ll many times find a better deal. This new update which the team calls “Rodan” offers 1,000 new retailers and 750,000 new products, is better optimized for battery life and is much faster, I’m told.

ShopSavvy, which was one of the original Google Android Challenge winners when it was still known as GoCart, launched with the Android platform last October and has been one of the most popular applications on the device since then. The company claims it now can compare over 20 million products at over 22,000 retailers.

Here are the full list of enhancements the company is claiming with this release:

* More than 1,000 additional participating retailers
* More than 750,000 additional scannable products
* Faster barcode scanning
* Faster, more accurate product search
* Faster load times
* Faster animations
* WiFi and GPS setting retention
* Notification of whether or not an item is in stock or out of stock
* Improved battery life
* Optional registration
* Option to search by title if product is not found
* Google Product Search integration
* Ability to visit retailer Web sites inside or outside ShopSavvy
* Additional polish to user interface

The company has yet to launch an iPhone version of ShopSavvy, a lot of that had to do with the iPhone’s current junky camera that can’t do things like auto-focus. But as we all learned yesterday, that’s about to change. And Big In Japan has been working on an iPhone version for some time.

The concept of using a mobile device to scan barcodes is an interesting one. Others apps in this space have since risen up, and pretty much anyone make their own simple barcode scanner using the Android Scripting Environment. The other day we covered Googler Matt Cutts using a barcode scanner to scan books into the Google Book Search database, but a couple days later, he and some fellow Googlers actually came up with a way to do the same thing with the Android phone.

You can find the new version of ShopSavvy in the Android Market, or download it directly here.