Thursday, May 14, 2009 | 9:55 AM
Since we launched Google Product Search for mobile a few weeks ago, I've been using it to check prices, reviews and product details on my Android phone. In addition to typing in my product searches, I've also had some fun speaking them. Sometimes, though, when I'm looking up a specific item in a store rather than a category of products (like "bluetooth headsets"), I'd rather just scan a barcode to see results for the exact product I'm searching for. That's why we've integrated barcode scanning with Google Product Search for mobile.
Here's how to get started. First, visit the Google Product Search for mobile homepage by going to Google.com in your browser and selecting 'Shopping' from the 'more' tab. Next, tap on the 'Scan Barcode' button to install the latest version of the Barcode Scanner app -- if you don't already have it -- from Android Market.
After you've installed the application, go back to Product Search in your browser and tap on the 'Scan Barcode' button again. Select "Use by default for this action" and tap on the Barcode Scanner option. After the app opens, center the red line over the barcode and hold the phone steady. When the barcode is read successfully, you'll see a Google Product Search results page back in the browser.
You can also access the scanner directly from the top of the Product Search results page by tapping on the barcode button.
Today, barcode scanning works best for products like electronics, books, movies or video games, but we're working on adding more barcodes for other items. Of course, if your scan does not return a result, you can always type in the product name just as before.
The integration of Barcode Scanner and Product Search for mobile is available in the US and UK, for Android-powered devices.