Monday, January 3, 2011

Key Ring App for Android

Oh, man, I love this app!

I hate having all those freakin’ little pieces of plastic with UPC codes hanging from my keychain just so I can be sure to get the “fair” price (instead of ridiculously inflated ones) at my local retailers.

I know some places associate your phone number with your UPC code, but I don’t like the idea of the grocery store (or anyone else) having my personal number.  I’m sure they are selling it to lists all over the planet.

I’d been using a phony number (note my awesome pun) for these associations, but not everybody will take a phone number, and this app solution is better anyway.

I can’t believe no one thought to do this before, but the Key Ring app lets you scan in all those UPC codes and store them on your phone!  You just pull up the appropriate UPC and have the check-out person scan the image directly from your phone’s screen.

PERFECT.  No more overloaded key chains for me!

The process is simple.  Open the app and click “add card” and the app uses your camera to scan the UPC code from any card.  You can choose a retailer from a rather extensive list (Safeway, King Soopers, Blockbuster, PetSmart, etc.), but if the place you’re scanning isn’t on the list (like my local library), that’s OK.  Just add your own title.  You can even suggest it to the online database.

If you’re having trouble getting the UPC to load-in via your camera (like if you have an old, ratty, illegible UPC tag), you can manually enter the number via your keypad.

Key Ring even takes it a few steps further by allowing you to create an online account.  You can manage your information and they will send coupons directly to your phone for various retailers so you can have the check-out person scan the UPC for the coupon from your phone!

As I am paranoid about the privacy of my number (the reason for having this app in the first place), I am not using the online account option.  The app works perfectly (sans coupons) without creating an online account.

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