One of the biggest hassles of my collecting life is knowing what cards I do and don't have. I carry around a binder in my truck that has all my needs lists in it, but sometimes I don't update it when I add cards to my sets or PCs. I tried to solve this problem with a few other apps available via the iTunes App Store, but none of them were even close to being what I wanted.
Last night, I stumbled across an app called MiraCard. In short, this is the app I've been looking for.
The premise of MiraCard is simple: find a card, snap a photo of it and see if it is already in your collection. If it is, you will have a photo of it. If it isn't, buy it, snap another photo of the card and add it to your collection. Furthermore, the app acts like a social network, too. It allows you to find "friends" and add them, just like the other social networks. Once you are a friend of someone, they can browse your collection and see all of your cardboard. It's an easy way to share collections with people without actually having to pull out albums or boxes and thumb through everything. Simple as that!
Okay, so maybe it isn't that simple. And maybe there are a few flaws that need to be addressed. But the app is young and is clearly trying to provide what collectors have been longing for. There will be growing pains, but it appears as if this app will be awesome! Let's take a look at how it works.
When you open the app, you are greeted with your home screen:
Here you will see recent additions to the collections of your friends. You can comment on, favorite or love cards from your friends' collections.
As it stands now, you can search for other users by tapping the magnifying lens. You can check out your recent social activity by tapping the speech balloon with a star, and you can look at your collection by tapping the person icon.
Most important, however, is the add card function in the middle of the bottom task bar (the camera). Tap on it, and you are prompted to take a photo of the card. The app will search its database and identify the card, if it exists in the database already:
If the card is in the database, you have two options. You can add the card to your collection, or you can add the card to your wishlist. This allows you to separate cards into haves and wants. The wishlist will seriously come in handy at a card show, reminding you what cards you want to pick up!
If the card you pictured isn't in the database, you will receive this message:
It will let you know the card isn't in the database, but it allows you to add it if you would like. Once you hit okay, you snap another photo of the card and then add the card vitals:
From there, you crop the photo to fit. I screen-grabbed a couple images of the cropping process, both of which I was cropping the back of the card:
Once you are finished cropping, you are asked to review your changes:
If you are satisfied with your work, you simply hit done and the card is added to your collection.
Boom, your collection goes digital and everyone can check it out.
Like I said, however, there are some growing pains. My first two suggestions were to 1) add a function that allows a user to add an entire set and its images to their collection with one button (i.e. Add all of 2014 Topps Series 1 at once); and 2) create a manual search for cards. As it stands now, the user must take a photo and go from there. As the app is still in its relative infancy, the algorithm used to search photos is still a bit shaky. For instance, I tried to add the base 2014 Gypsy Queen Clayton Kershaw card and got three different results on three different tries. If there was a manual search, I could just enter "2014 Gypsy Queen Clayton Kershaw" and the card would appear and could be added.
Whenever offered the opportunity to provide feedback, I almost always comply. Thus, I sent the two above-mentioned suggestions off to the app creators and thought I wouldn't hear back. Well, about an hour later I received a reply:
Judson - Thanks for the feedback!
- The app is still relatively young. At this phase we are receiving most card images from users (like your Luke Jackson's). Once we get enough images to complete sets, then we could add functions like you mentioned.
- Totally agree with the search for cards function. We are working on that.
- That's also the reason your Clayton Kershaw is bringing different results. Because we have some 2014 Gypsy Queens, but not all. If you add your Kershaw we can process the card into our system and then it will be recognized moving forward.
Hope that makes sense.
Thanks for using the app and feel free to email me our Guy (copied) if you have any other thoughts.
Creator of MiraCard
Creator of MiraCard
Another positive! The creators actively solicit and read suggestions and take the time to respond back with information regarding your suggestions! To me, this shows that these guys want the app to work for users, not just to make a buck on it.
Speaking of which, the app is currently free if you download it now!
Unfortunately, its only available to iPhone users at this time. They are planning to go to Android phones soon, though no timetable is given for this.
Even with the growing pains, the app is going to be awesome. I strongly encourage you to download the app if you have an iPhone and begin uploading your collection now! At this point, you will probably find yourself uploading quite a few cards, but by doing so, you are helping to build the image database and make the app even better for future users. So come join me now! look me up - jmeeks1331 is my username - and I look forward to seeing your collection soon!