Monday, January 31, 2011

App of the Week: RedLaser

Having recently acquired (?succumbed to?) an iPhone, I've been exploring the possibilities of apps.  Probably haven't done much more than dip my toe in the water since there are thousands of them...

Anyhoo, thought I might share some of the apps I've found which have been useful for school, one way or another, so if you have or come to acquire a smartphone with app potential you might have some places to start or new apps to explore.
So there I am, out and about in the hols, in a bookshop far from my usual haunts, and they happen to have some good teenlit titles I didn't have in our library.  Sure, I could have snapped photos of the covers, or photos of front and back; but with RedLaser I could get the barcode, some bibliographic info and a thumbnail of the cover, so when I was at my usual local bookseller for school, I had all the info to find it fast (scans are saved until you choose to delete them).

The US version of this seems to have greater functionality than the Australian one as yet - a number of the reviews comment on the gaps in Australian sources/sites/pricing for goods.  You can scan pretty much any barcode and if the app finds a match, it will show details of that product and sources for it (but given the limited Australian functionality I'd be checking prices at other known suppliers rather than relying on the app).  Books probably have a better hit rate than some other goods, as they are generally internationally available.

Still, it has served a useful libraryish purpose over the hols, and I'm sure I'll find more ways to use it.  Be nice if those price check machines in stores worked as efficiently and quickly...



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