Flow Powered by Amazon for iPhone, iPad Review

On February 17, 2012

App Type: iPhone

Flow Powered by Amazon for iPhone, iPad Review

Our rating:

By: A9 Innovations

Version #: 1.1

Date Released:


Price: 0

User Rating:

A novel concept lies behind Flow Powered by Amazon. Supposedly, it gives you the ability to automatically access Amazon’s shopping database by scanning products right in front of your eyes with your iOS device’s camera. The app analyses the item in front of the lenses and compares it with the myriad of objects catalogued in Amazon’s database. Following which, the app pulls out information such as the ratings for the item and also the retail price on Amazon.

This concept serves up plenty of potential. For instance, users can scan an item they want to buy in a store to check the price on Amazon and see if they are being shortchanged by the shop they are in. Simply place an object in front of the device’s camera lens and a number of blue dots will soon cover the item on the screen. After that, just sit back and watch the app do its magic. However, Flow Powered by Amazon is not quite amazing as promised.

The app promised to let me “discover information about everyday products around”. I took this literally and began scanning everything around me. However, I soon realized that the capabilities of the app are quite limited. A pair of Nike gym gloves could not be registered by the app, and I was repeatedly told to reposition the gloves so as to cut off glare. Likewise, a pair of Beats by Dr Dre Solo HD headphones as well as a Casio calculator was also not recognized by the app, despite having been shown on different angles. I decided then to redirect my efforts towards books as suggested by the app description, and chose Animal Farm by George Orwell. However, the app was also not able to detect my novel.

The app did succeed though, when I tried to scan a Nutella bottle. However, this was also only possible after much effort. I had to place the bottle against a white wall with nothing else in the way before the scan was made possible.

All in all, Flow Powered by Amazon serves up a very good concept and takes shopping to a whole new level. However, things would be much better if the app could recognize objects easier. The scanning system has much to be improved on before this app can realize its full potential.

We rate this app 1.5 out of 5 stars.

Article By

A water polo player from Singapore, Wei Jie devotes most of his time to training. However, when he's not occupied by water training or pushing himself in the gym, expect to see him squinting at his iPhone testing out new apps.

eng-wei-jie has written 308 awesome app reviews.