Blind Bargains

Quick Take: TapTapSee for Android Works Just like the iPhone Version, But Should It?

Image Searcher has brought their popular image identification app TapTapSee to the Android platform so I decided to take it for a spin. For a first effort, the app looks quite polished and works as advertised. Taking advantage of some of the features of Android would make it even better.

TapTapSee is one of several apps available to do object recognition. It uses a combination of computers and humans to return descriptions of pictures sent to it, usually within about 10 seconds. The responses I received ranged from a simple "Pepsi bottle" to a much more detailed "brown-haired man with t-shirt with gray writing lying in bed on gray pilllowcase." When it comes to ease of use, it's one of the quickest apps I've ever learned, likely due to its amazingly simple interface.

If you've used the app on an iPhone or iPad, the interface will look very familiar to you. In fact, it looks exactly the same. There's a button to take a picture, a button to repeat the last result, and a way to look through your camera gallery to identify pictures you've taken previously. This latter button is one area where Android's features could be exploited for the better. Many apps allow the user to select files using a file browser or helper application. This would allow for support for Dropbox or Google Drive files as well as pictures from an SD card, all with minimal effort from the TapTapSee developers.

TapTapsee gives you a few pictures for free and then charges roughly $8 for 100 pictures or a monthly unlimited membership. Now that the app is available for multiple platforms, it would be helpful to create an account and share a membership between devices. As far as I could tell, there is no way to use both an iPad and Android tablet under the same membership.

We appreciate the developers focus on a simple user interface for their app but also realize that some users may want more flexibility, such as asking questions associated with an image. Perhaps a basic and advanced mode would be a helpful addition in the future.

There are other free apps, including Image Searcher's own CamFind, which also do various forms of object recognition. Most of the others focus on computer-based methods for identifying pictures. These free apps often work well however for items with bar codes, some food products, and other common objects. TapTapSee seems to excel in identifying scenes, clothing, furniture, and other objects which may be a bit more rare or subjective to the eye. It's a great tool to have in your arsenal if you often need to identify these types of objects and scenes.

The app is available now from Google Play.

You can listen to an interview with the founders of Image Searcher from earlier this year.

Category: Articles
Displaying 1 comment.
darknexus Tuesday, 22-Apr-2014 6:29 PM ET:

This is fairly common for apps just being ported to Android from iOS. If the iOS version comes first, they usually don't start using Android's other capabilities right away. Actually, I've noticed this about iOS users that move over as well. They're so used to being limited that it doesn't immediately occur to them that they can, with Android, essentially use their phone or tablet like a computer rather than a glorified PDA.

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J.J. Meddaugh is an experienced technology writer and computer enthusiast. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. When not writing for Blind Bargains, he enjoys travel, playing the keyboard, and meeting new people.

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