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Amazon's Flow augmented reality shopping app comes to Android with added QR reader

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Amazon's Flow app, an augmented reality shopping app that launched for iOS last year, has now come to Android.

Flow powered by Amazon
Flow powered by Amazon

Flow, the augmented reality app that launched for iOS in late 2011, is now available for Android. As we mentioned last year, the app lets users point their cameras at books, packaged toys or food, and other items sold on Amazon and see pricing information and reviews in real time. It's similar to Price Check, the app used in a controversial push to have customers check out items in brick-and-mortar stores and then buy them on Amazon, but it's got a bit of augmented reality flash to it and identifies products automatically as you move the camera, rather than making you take a picture. It's also made by Amazon subsidiary A9, which handles product search, and can load music previews or trailers if you're looking at — for instance — a DVD case. Both apps allow you to buy items or share them on social networks.

We were perhaps a little optimistic earlier when we said Flow might be coming "soon" to Android, but users will at least get one feature that's not currently available for iOS: QR code scanning. Both platforms' apps already scan UPCs, but theoretically this could let people find products or media via paper advertisements, or at least participate in the joys of advertising gimmickry.