Use Amazon’s Barcode Scanner in a store to look up product reviews on your iPhone in 10 seconds flat

Over the weekend, I found myself in a mall looking for a new camera for my father-in-law.  He’s not convinced that he needs a new one, but his daughters have objected to the fact that it requires using a view finder and has just a tiny little screen that only shows a shot after it is taken.  The decided to get him a new one for his birthday, and they sent me to pick one out.

I was looking for just a basic point-and-shoot, nothing fancy, but Best Buy had more than 20 cameras in my price range.  Sure, you can compare them on core features, like megapixels, battery life, screen size, price, etc., but in general they were pretty similar.  I picked up one that looked good – nice packaging, ample screen, simple interface, but what I wanted to know was, is it any good?  Do people like this product?  Hate it?  How is it reviewed.

Amazon is a great source for product reviews, provided you can find your way to the right product.  I decided to try using the barcode scanning feature of Amazon’s iPhone app and discovered that it really is all it is cracked up to be.  Fast and easy to use.

When you open the Amazon app and hit search, there is an option to scan a barcode:

You are then presented with a very easy-to-use interface.  The camera display shows up on the screen with a red line across it, similar to the one that a bar code would have.  Just line it up with the barcode on the box.  Keep in mind that some boxes have more than one barcode, so make sure to find the “official” one:

Almost instantly, the phone will recognize the barcode and pull up the product in Amazon’s listing:

From here, it is a simple tap to pull up the product reviews:

The whole process takes about 10 seconds.  In this case, I found enough reviews to give me confidence.  As with any product, some people love it and some hate it, but a quick skim told me that people generally agreed that it was a good point-and-shoot camera, perfect for my father-in-law.
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