If you're a frequent online shopper, Slice is the ultimate tool you can install on your Android (and iOS) device. By crawling through your email inbox, Slice grabs all the details of your purchases, tracks shipments and your spendings, organizes everything into categories, deduces your shopper profile, and even monitors items for later rebates and recalls. The app has been available for over two years and has made enough of a splash that it just got acquired by Japanese online retailer Rakuten for an undisclosed amount.


Rakuten, which had bought Buy.com four years ago, still has a lot of ground to cover to catch up to Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba in the US. With this purchase, however, the company hopes to glean precious information about American (and international) users' shopping habits and "build a next-generation online services ecosystem," as Scott Brady, Slice's CEO mentioned in the acquisition announcement post. It's all about the data, your data, and Slice has 200 million transactions worth of it.

As for Slice, the app, Scott isn't very specific, but it seems like it will continue to work. After all, this is how Slice gets its job done.

"The best part is that we get to keep doing what we’re doing, as a standalone business under the stewardship of the existing leadership team. It’s business as usual, with an unusually strong and talented partner."

If you want to give Slice a try—and maybe send some of your shopping habits to Rakuten—you can download the app from the widget below. It is seriously awesome, but I'm now forced to do a double take on using it. It's the eternal debate of privacy vs convenience, and I wish I had an easy answer.

Source: WSJ, Slice

Rita El Khoury
Rita is a pharmacist by profession, a geek by passion. Her love story with Android started in 2009 and has been going stronger with every update, device, tip, app, and game. She lives in Lebanon, speaks three languages, and watches a lot of TV series.

  • http://usamaisawake.wordpress.com usamaisawake

    I've had bad experiences with Rakuten, as have many other people (just search google). One time I ordered an item and it never shipped, but I was charged anyway. It took almost 1.5 months of back and forth email to get them to reverse the charges. I tried one more time, and a week or so after my Paypal somehow had fraudulent charges (Paypal, to their benefit, was very quick about returning me my money). I immediately changed passwords all around. Have never shopped at Rakuten again. I guess now I won't ever consider Slice either.

  • kpjimmy

    I occasionally shop at Rakuten for memory sd cards. I almost bought a few watches from Rakuten Japan, but I didn't for whatever reason. The couple times I shopped there, my stuff got delivered without much hassle.

    But Slice has never worked for me. I have tried it 3 times or more and I have found better tracker apps like deliveries and shiprack, or even google wallet/cards. Slice has never notified me of things shipping or delivered. Even the Google cards are more helpful.

    • shonangreg

      The times I've used Rakuten (from within Japan) I've had no problems either. Here they do have what seems to be a collected storefront. The merchants gather at rakuten but are somewhat independent. Still, every item I've ordered has come through fine. I have not had to return anything . . . In my partial boycott of amazon, I tried their kobo reader app on android. It works well enough also.

  • Play.vomit

    Play.com is like a shitty version of Amazon. It belongs in the 90s. Gross.

    • Ziggy

      Play.com used to be the best shop in Europe for games and movies and music before Rakuten bought it. And also before they ran into trouble with UK government.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

        I used to be a big fan of Buy.com in the US before Rakuten acquired it, and then it became pretty horrible.

        I feel like the company is just shady enough that I don't trust them with my email accounts, so I'm revoking access.

        • Big Tony

          I second this...

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  • Blake

    Given the issues with Rakuten in the past I don't really trust them. I've used Slice on and off for most of the time they've been around but I'll be removing my info from them now. Just one of those names that I try to avoid.

    • bobprobert

      i agree. i have been using slice for nearly 2 years now and i love it, but i really do not want my info going to rakuten

  • remister

    I've brought stuff from Rakiten, but have usually used PayPal if anything would to go bad.

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  • dude

    Well it seems Rakuten have an average rating of 0.43 out of 10 at reseller ratings out of 94 reviews.

  • Jesslyn Hendrix

    Just great. I've used Slice for years and now have to delete my account.