The barcode-scanning, price-comparing iPhone app that has rocked our world

1 October 2009

img_5264Goodbye High Street shopping, it was nice knowing you.

As it’s been a couple of days since we ran an iPhone story, we thought we should come back with a scorcher. It’s about an app that has rocketed to the top of the charts since it was released a couple of days ago and should be a must for any bargain-crazy Bitterwallet reader.

It’s RedLaser 2.2, a realtime scanner (no need to take a photo first) that will read a barcode and give you an instant price comparison of your item of choice. Then, if you find a price you’re happy with, you can link straight through to the seller of your choice. Expect to see Britain’s stores fill up with browsing shoppers scanning stuff they'd like to buy cheaper online later on. Gosh.

But it’s not only for price comparisons – imagine you’re looking at a book or DVD in your local emporium and you want to know what some freaks on the Internet think about it. Scan the barcode and within seconds you’ll be at Amazon or a similar site, reading witty and informative reviews such as “This is the greatest film ever made… and I’m 19 so I should know” or “The author of this book should have his skin removed and then be thrown into a river of vinegar. The author not the skin.”

So we tested it out and it works on er, some things. After trying it on a few items that were lying around the Bitterwallet HQ, we’ve realised that it’s good for comparing the prices of CDs, games, books and DVDs but not so hot when it comes to tins of Dulux paint, bags of Pom-Bear crisps and bottles of Robinsons’ blackcurrant cordial. Still, it’s early days, and who the hell buys their Pom-Bear crisps online anyway?

As well as being able to read barcodes, you can also type in UPC or EAN codes and email search results hither and thither if you should feel the need. It’s available in the app store for only £1.19 at the moment and once its database of comparable online stores grows, it’ll become an invaluable shopping tool.

iPhone app of the year. Until the next great one that comes along…

Below: The previous RedLaser 2.0 - it didn't read European codes and was therefore useless. But you'll get the gist...

TOPICS:   Mobile   Consumer Advice


  • MrRobin
    Wow that was quick! Looks good innit! Like you said, only really relevant for stuff you'd typically buy online anyway; CDs, games, Razzle etc. :)
  • chris
    Big deal the e71 has had this for about a year now :S
  • Bob
    Yeah, not forgetting ShopSavvy, the free app on Android that does exactly the same
    • Andy D.
      Yeah, but what's any of that got to do with the iPhone which, lest we forget, is the most IMPORTANT phone in the world.
  • Patrick
    Such fanboys. Damn this site is falling fast.
  • Jack
    Wow, as Bob said, just like ShopSavvy, except it costs you and hasn't been out for months already! Seriously, this time it's not just Bitterwallet that's behind the times...
  • snoogans81
    Yep, shop savvy all the way for me, and frankly I dont expect to be having to pay for the app on iPhone given it is free elsewhere.
  • Tiny S.
    Read an article this morning saying all iPhone owners should carry vaseline with them so we can shove their iphones up their fucking arses - the bunch of the sanctimonious twats. Personally I disagreed, do it dry, makes their eyes water more.
  • Nathan
    The cool thing about this is that they are releasing the barcode reading technology as a plug-in that other developers can integrate into their own app's. One that looks really promising is DailyBurn's FoodScanner ( which lets you scan the barcode on any food you eat, then finds its nutritional data from the DailyBurn database, and adds it to your Food Log (DailyBurn is a diet/exercise tracking website btw) so you can look back at the end of the day, and see if you've eaten enough or too much fat/carbs/protein etc. Although if you just eat PomPom Bear crisps and drink blackcurrant cordial all day, this might not be the app for you.
  • dean
    y dus ever1 hate da iphone ere? jus jelus cus they cnt a4rd it an wer shit clothds n tht lol i got 3 so far hahaha...... stupd cuntz!!!
  • La W.
    I agree with the guy who said Nokia E71 sported this kind of technology about a year ago. But honestly, iphone ones does its job far better than E71 app which was a hit and miss. I will try it on my iphone.
  • snoogans81
    So, food scanner is like Calorie Counter that has, shock, been available on android for quite a while now. And Dean, I know that has to be a joke post, so well done there.
  • dean
    wat u sayin mate? you want meto talk like this all posh? like sum pratt like u haha am jus bein meself n dnt care what stuck up cnts like u think bet u don have a iphone eh? lol
  • Mb
    Or try pic2shop it's free on the app store and works well.
  • iCock
    I prefer earphones. Eyephones make my eye sockets dry.
  • Fiona
    Calorie Counter has been on Android for over a year with this sort of technology. Do some research please.
  • Jack
    Another vote for ShopSavvy because it's... free basically.
    • Andy D.
      Yes people, we get all of what you're spluttering and trying to say, but the story is that the sales of the app have gone ballistic in its first couple of days of release. Ike Turner's Rocket 88 is largely acknowledged as the first ever rock 'n' roll record but it didn't do the business that Rock Around The Clock did. In fact Rocket 88 probably sold about as many as your average chart-topping Android app.
  • Kevin
    I don't know but what are the numbers of E71 and Androids against iphones? This is certainly a valid story whatever the iphone haters think.
  • Colin S.
    Shanks here. So when I am in Tandys examining a fridge, do I ask them to bring out a box from the back with a barcode on it for me to scan, so that I can then thank them for their trouble, go home and get Mrs Shanks to buy it online from the identified cheap website? She wouldn't complain, of course, however she may ask me 'what was the point of scanning it rather than just remembering the make/model so that I can google it?'. Mrs Shanks has a point, surely?
  • Dai
    Wow - that's just like the (at least) two android apps that do the same thing... except it isn't free. Hurrah for that "iphone difference"!
  • Ian
    I love reading the posts by iPhone haters. They all have a real chip on their shoulder. They remind me of an ugly, miserable woman at work who got divorced and now hates all men. "This has been on android for ages". This maybe true but nobody gives a fuck about android. Really, who gives a shit? Only the people who can't afford an iPhone and get all bitter about it. Maybe if you went out and got a decent job instead of being a professionally slating iPhones on internet forums, you would be able to afford an iPhone too. Or can you not get a job because your intervier thinks you must be retarted for not having an iPhone? That is probably it.
  • Ian
    *professional *interviewer
  • Gareth H.
    i'm sure this is a great app but having just tried to d/l it on my jailbreaked 3gs, i was told that it can only be installed on the 3.1 software! i smell a conspiracy somewhere, new apps only working with 3.1, people who have unlocked their iphone cant upgrade to 3.1, somebody vying to control the masses, forcing them into upgrading and maybe returning to o2 to make use of all apps? or, tbh, i'm probably taking pish, or am i? :-)
  • applesux
    Et TU Andy? I thought only Paul was the Apple fanboy.
  • NobbyB
    So who gets the affiliate payments? Is it Redlaser or Google? I'm surprised they don't give the app away for free, the amount of money that can be made on affiliate payments. And just as importantly, what happens if you scan an iphone? Does it destroy the iphone, like what happens if you type google into google.
  • RedLaser: W.
    [...] Bitterwallet has alerted me to a new app for the iPhone which looks like it could be very useful for the on-the-go deal seeker. [...]
  • Amanda H.
    I just scanned an iPhone barcode, my iPhone just blew up.
  • snoogans81
    Dean, yes dat iz wat i iz sayin, what is your point? No, I do not have an iphone, I have an android handset, where apps like this have been available and free for months already. So, as I asked, what was your point?

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