Developer: Consmr
Price: Free
Version: 1.3
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4

iOS Integration Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Re-play Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

It’s great to have choices, especially when it comes to shopping for a product that’s just right, but sometimes it can be tough to choose. Consmr aims to take the guesswork out of shopping and make it easier to buy the right thing.

At its core, Consmr is a social network of people who like to review and compare products. Each member might have their own motivations, such as determining whether a product is safe, healthy, or if a cheaper, generic brand exists, but they all unite under the same drive to improve the shopping experience.

To start, a user simply scans the barcode of a product they’re thinking of purchasing. The app quickly brings up all available information on the product, including reviews, ratings, better buys and nutritional information (if applicable.) There’s even an option to see where the product might be on sale for less, though it doesn’t always work. From the same screen, a user can rate the product themselves, even writing up a review if they choose. They can also save the product to a list of favorite products, share it on other social networks or pin it to their Pinterest account.

Where Consmr really shines is under the “Better Buys” tab, where they can see a list of other products along with descriptors such as, “Higher Rated,” “Less Fat,” “Fewer Calories,” or “Trending.” These selections allow the user to make a more informed opinion about the product they’re currently thinking of buying.

If there’s one failing, it’s that Consmr doesn’t have a complete list of every product under the sun. A lot of products come up in the database, but don’t have reviews because no one has reviewed them yet. There’s also a “Discover” section that brings other products to users’ attention, but doesn’t seem to be based on any reason for doing so. I think it would be more useful if the app based suggestions on other products I scan and shop for. Meanwhile, it does show me what friends are looking at, which lends a little more weight to what I’m shopping for as I’ll often consider my friends’ opinions over those of a total stranger.

Finally, the Search option is a great way to go shopping for new or existing products while filtering for items that are gluten free, have no preservatives or inclue other features a user might be searching for.

Right now, Consmr seems limited to products most likely to be found at a grocery store, and I think that’s a fine scope to be limited to. However, I could easily see the scope expanded to include any number of products, from consumer electronics to vehicles and toys. As mentioned, this app has become my best friend on recent trips to the grocery store. It’s exactly the kind of thing I’ve wanted for a long while.

Posted in: iPad Apps and Games, iPhone Apps and Games, Productivity, Reviews

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