App Review: Key Ring for Android

Welcome to our first Dads Talking app review. This first go ’round we’re going to take a look at a very useful Android app which is sure to help free your key ring of some card clutter! Matter of fact, the name of the app is Key Ring. This is supposed to be able to replace all those wonderful club store cards, gym cards and anything else you keep in your pocket which has a barcode on it. Here’s how it works (Check the gallery below for screenshots):

1. From the Home Screen or App Screen, launch the app.
2. From the Key Ring Home Screen, tap the radio button in the upper right hand corner which says “Add Card.”
3. Next, select the field which says “Card has barcode.”
4. The scanner portion of the app will launch which will allow you to scan the barcode on your card. One of the great features of this app is that if your card’s barcode has been worn off a bit, all you have to do is actually enter the numbers beneath your card’s barcode and the app will create a barcode for you. This is presuming of course that the numbers on your card haven’t worn off as well.

Once you’ve gone through those steps, you’ll have a card on your phone which you can then use to scan at grocery stores. The real question is how well this app works. They have some “best practices outlined on their site,, to help facilitate successful use of this app:

1. Place the scanner 5 to 6 inches away from the screen. Any closer or further away and it’s unlikely the barcode will scan.
2. Scan the barcode head-on! Do not scan from an angle. Otherwise, the laser will reflect off the screen and will not scan your barcode.
3. Turn your screen brightness down. Less bright light means less interference when scanning.
4. Keep your phone screen clean.
5. Avoid using Key Ring at flatbed scanners. Occasionally they will work but often they don’t.
PLEASE note tips 1 and 2 are by far the MOST IMPORTANT! Also, please understand that different mobile devices will have varying scanning success rates.

That’s it. I’ve used this app with mixed results, but I think some of that is user error. That said, I would still recommend this app because it is quite handy to have with you and if you can’t get the barcode to scan, the clerk can just enter the numbers beneath the barcode in order to facilitate your transaction. A great addition to the app is that if your card is one among a list in their system, it will plug you in to coupon offers, allow for you to take notes on the card itself, say, if you have a favorite employee you like dealing with at a vendor and want to remember their name, as well as some location-based info. You can check out this free app at or in the Android Market.

About Tshaka Armstrong

Tshaka Armstrong is the husband to one awesome wife, dad to three awesome children. On any given day you may find him posting internet & tech family safety info here and on his personal blog, or chatting with his tweeps when he's not dadvocating here. Join in the conversation, drop a line, share a joke and join him in encouraging each other to be awesome!