Developer: IMAGE SEARCHER INC.
Price: FREE
Version: 1.0.3
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S
iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

20130527-230143.jpg“I just love typing out my query into Safari when I see something of interest that I’d like to know more about,” said no one, ever. Why risk thumb cramp when you could take a picture of something and let the browser do the rest? That’s where CamFind comes in.

To start a search, simply open the app, take a picture and wait for CamFind to identify the object, building or image captured. Alternatively, in the photo history section you can add a photo from the iPhone camera roll, perform a vocal search or type your query in manually (but that’s no fun is it?). Firstly, I took a picture of a PS3 controller and received a comparison of prices across the web. Next I took a picture of a white vase and the app correctly described the “engraved flower” detailing present. I even took a picture of Jason Bateman whilst watching Arrested Development, only to receive a web search that identified the actor and directed me to the Wikipedia bio page. The results are truly impressive.

However, the recognition tool can sometimes be too literal in it’s identification of objects. For example, rather than telling me who the person in a painting was, CamFind simply told me that it was a “Painting of Man with Sword.” I could see that, cheers guys! Despite it not being the information I was looking for, the recognition power of this app is still stunning.

20130527-230359.jpgNow, on to the other features packaged in with the image recognition, which unfortunately don’t do anything to enhance the overall experience. The barcode reader in particular left a lot to be desired. Supposedly all you have to do is tap to scan a barcode, but that never actually worked for me. Attempting to use the camera instead, a photo of some matte wax hair product produced results about chewing gum, then a scan of a DVD showed results for “Barcode.” It seems strange that the developers would add a barcode reader if they decided to implement it in such a disappointing manner. The same applies to the inaccurate vocal search and the location-based advice that should come from capturing a photo of a coffee cup. The QR Reader, in contrast, is excellent and very reliable, opening up the corresponding web page in seconds.

The fact is, CamFind is good at what it does, if you stick to the main camera feature and the QR Reader that is (the translator function only works when abroad, so could not be tested). When you compare this with the lacklustre performance of Google Goggles, which often comes back with the rage-inducing “Google didn’t recognise anything”, CamFind really shows its superiority. There simply isn’t a better camera-based browser app out there, making this is a worthy addition to anyone’s iPhone.

Posted in: iPhone Apps and Games, Photography, Reviews, Utilities

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