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Amazon's Flow iOS app sees all with image recognition technology

Amazon has added a new feature to its app that lets you use your phone's camera to quickly scan and find items.

The image-recognition feature, called Flow, is available on devices running iOS 7, and works best when you're looking up things like packaged groceries, books, DVDs, and video games, Amazon said. All you have to do is move your phone's camera over an item, and the app will look up the product.

You can even quickly scan multiple items one after another without stopping. Once the app finds an item, it saves it to your search history, letting you add it to your shopping cart or save it for later.

I tested out the new feature, and was able to easily find a number of common packaged items, including a box of tea, hand lotion, cough drops, and DVDs. The Amazon app also lets you find items by scanning a barcode or typing its name, but the new Flow feature is super-fast. During my test, the app found each item in just a few seconds.

Amazon released Flow as a standalone app in 2011, and it's still available for download in the App Store and Google Play. It has now been wrapped into the larger Amazon iOS app, but there's no word on whether Flow will be integrated into Amazon's Android app.

Meanwhile, Amazon also has some good news for Prime members. Just in time for the weekend, the company has nabbed exclusive streaming rights to season one of the popular FX drama The Americans. The show is available for streaming now on Amazon Prime Instant Video.

The updated Amazon app including Flow is available for download in the App Store.