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RedLaser 3 for Android

Published on | By Miles Skorpen

RedLaser is proud to announce a major upgrade to our Android app. RedLaser 3 includes a host of new features, making it one of the most amazing upgrades for RedLaser yet. This new release is now available on Google Play, so you can start using it right away.

RedLaser, re-imagined

Just a few months ago, Google released a new set of design standards for Android app designs along with their cutting edge Ice Cream Sandwich [ICS] version of Android. The core principles of ICS are:

  • Enchant users, with flexible and delighting design
  • Simplify life for users, with succinct, bold, and image-oriented design
  • Make users amazing, by empowering them and making important things fast and easy

We took these principles to heart when developing RedLaser 3 for Android.

Our new design emphasizes the information that matters, and uses carefully tuned displays to make user’s workflow as smooth as possible.

To help things along, we’ve introduced an awesome new interface, with things like side-swiping, smart navigation, and a custom, and universal, action bar. Taken together, they make RedLaser more powerful and easier to use.

This is particularly visible in our local results. Not only is the standard price display much easier to read than in previous versions of the app, but now we have a powerful map view. With a single tap, you can see exactly where the lowest prices are in your area — and then get driving instructions, contact information, store hours, and much more.

Faster than ever

RedLaser 3 isn’t just a major step forward in design. It is also the fastest RedLaser yet.

We’ve worked hard to improve how our servers interact with RedLaser 3, so you’ll find all of our results loading much quicker. Jumping between reviews, local prices, and other product information is seamless — there aren’t long pauses, as we wait for information to be downloaded. And for products you’ve visited before, we make sure to save the results on your phone so you can check the results or offers even when you are shopping offline.

Speed isn’t just about how fast things load. We’ve also included a number of features to make RedLaser smarter, so it can help you complete your searches and scans more quickly. The most important addition is search auto-completion — RedLaser will try to figure out what you are searching for, and offer suggestions for great searches. This means you’ll spend less time fighting your phone’s keyboard, and more time checking prices and shopping!

And this is only just the start. We’ve got some major changes which will accelerate how we scan coming next month.

More data

We’re also working hard to expand the quantity and quality of data available in RedLaser.

We already have the largest mobile shopping product database, but we have also partnered with a number of dedicated data providers to supplement our prices with other critical information, including:

  • Health, environment, and social ratings from GoodGuide
  • Nutritional information, including calories and ingredients, from providers like Fooducate
  • Product reviews, which will help you decide which products to buy — like book reviews and details from Simon & Schuster
  • Allergen information to alert you to potential risks in foods

We’re excited to offer all this new data, and a huge increase in coverage for some of our most important categories, like grocery and household items. And this is just the tip of the iceberg — all summer, we’re going to be rolling out massive increases to our product catalog.

So, upgrade to RedLaser 3 for Android now, and get shopping!


The re-designed RedLaser 3.2 released!

Published on | By Miles Skorpen and Chris Plasser

We’re happy to announce RedLaser for iPhone 3.2! This latest version of RedLaser includes a host of new features as well as several user interface changes that make RedLaser 3.2 the cleanest, fastest, and most useful RedLaser yet.

We’ve worked hard to bring you more prices from more stores and with more content for all the products you love to buy. We’ve also enhanced our core scanning engine, enabling RedLaser to scan even faster. And we’ve completely rebuilt our back-end infrastructure so we can show you results in the app with lightning fast speed. Watch our screencast (above) and go see for yourself by trying RedLaser 3.2 now — it’s on iTunes now.


The RedLaser scan screen primer

Published on | By Miles Skorpen and Ran Chen

The first interaction between your customers and your barcode scanner will be in the scan screen. Getting this first interaction right is critical in turning occasional users into frequent users. But getting the scan screen right isn’t settled science, as you can see from some different directions we’ve taken in the core RedLaser application, and in our scanning software development kit.

Even customers aren’t sure what the best scan screen would be.

While we were in the planning stages of a recent RedLaser release, we conducted user research on this topic, among others. In particular, we compared two different scan screens — one primarily with arrows, like the “RL Classic” design above, and the second with solely a red scan line, like RedLaser today. The research subjects overwhelmingly preferred the scan line, as they believed it required far less precision and fostered perception of an easy and streamlined scanning process.

With the launch of RedLaser, we switched our scan overlay, but user feedback and more research surfaced an unexpected result of the change: Users with the new app perceived scanning as slower, even though our testing only showed speed improvements. Our hypothesis is that, because the red scan line is easier to align, our users spend less time aligning the screen and more time waiting for a scan to complete, creating a perception of slower scanning.

To help you figure out the best scan screen for your customers, we’re going to walk you through a few of the important areas we’ve discovered.