Both of these apps on Google's Android mobile phone platform allow users to scan a barcode, then search for the best prices online and in local inventories. Both make use of the macro lens on the G1, paired with Google's open source library for barcode readers & the built-in GPS. The iPhones lack of a macro lens makes it have to rely on image-recognition software to solve the same problem -- or a QR reader, which would in turn requre the product to have a QR code. In short, the G1 seems to be much better equiped to innovate in the mobile-retail space than iPhone.
I wanted to compare the IAs of the two apps, based purely on the YouTube demo videos -- not a tremendously comprehensive or scientific analysis. But I was looking for a couple key differentiators. This is what I found:
CompareEverywhere's camera worked significantly faster in scanning the barcode. Perhaps this has to do with the lighting conditions for the test. Nothing briliant to conclude here.
As noted in the red box above, CompareEverywhere includes an All Offers link at the top, while ShopSavvy requires you to select between Web and Local. Perhaps not significant, but assuming that I'm basing my decision on Price, I'd prefer to view All Offers, and then make a decision.
Accessing the Map:
CompareEverywhere includes a "Map Locations" link at the top of the local-stores list, whereas ShopSavvy provides a map for each location only once you've selected the particular store. This is a pretty significant difference, and one I imagine ShopSavvy will want to rework before it goes to market. CompareEverywhere's map also displays flags for each store with the price of the product next to it. That's a huge win.
Reviews/ Favorites / WishLists:
Both applications provide the ability to save product to a wishlist, and neither demo goes into detail about how that's done. For both of these apps I'm particualry keen on knowing what the online experinece is -- whether saving an item to a wishlist from the phone updates your online wishlist, and vice a versa. Both apps also link to Product Review databases, a key functionality that significantly boosts online retail conversion.
Sharing to Friends:
I liked that ShopSavvy had a prompt to "Email link to a friend," and I imagine CompareEverywhere has provided similar functionality -- perahps not as boldly interrupting the userpath. Getting feedback from one's social network before making a purchase should be integrated into the IA/UX of any mobile retail application, and it should go beyond Emailing. A recommendation for both applications: integrate the Facebook API as well as the G-mail address book to optimize sharing & social-feedback functions for the user. Posting to Twitter & FriendFeed wouldn't be too shabby either.
Lastly, gotta love that Jeff harkey included Local Libraries in CompareEverywhere. A partiuclarly sentient non-consumerist moment, much appreciated.
Shop Savvy Demo: