Google Catalogs will keep your mailbox mailer free

Aug 23, 2011
Shopping

The aim of Google’s latest app is to save the environment — at least when it comes to printing paper catalogs. Instead of stacking these handheld shopping guides next to your couch, you can now access many of the big-name books via your iPad in the app Google Catalogs. I was impressed with the variety […]

The aim of Google’s latest app is to save the environment — at least when it comes to printing paper catalogs. Instead of stacking these handheld shopping guides next to your couch, you can now access many of the big-name books via your iPad in the app Google Catalogs.

I was impressed with the variety of catalogs available in Google Catalogs, brands such as Dwell Studio, Anthropologie, Blue Nile, Urban Outfitters and Nordstrom, among others, but I think that just means the options speak to my tastes. Overall, diversity is slim. The searchable catalogs display nicely on the iPad, and as users swipe through the pages, price tags will appear on items available for purchase. Tapping a tag will bring up an item description and product image (I kept trying to zoom in on these, but that function only works on the regular pages), as well as thumbnail images for other items on the page. The “Find Nearby” function uses your GPS location to show stores that are close, or you can use the “Buy on Website” button to open the retailer’s website.

Items can be emailed to friends or added to a favorites list, if you are signed in to your Google account. A Google account also enables users to add catalogs to a subscription list, and the app will notify you when a new version is uploaded. The collage feature is one of the app’s most interesting segments. Here users can create inspiration boards using items they’ve added to favorites, or browse public pin boards from other users.

READ  Apple’s App Store blows past 25 billion download mark

I was disappointed the app doesn’t offer any offline functionality. Clearly making purchases from the catalogs would need an Internet connection, but the ability to browse catalogs while without Wi-Fi would be a nice time-killer. I was also surprised that there was no “Fast Home” button for switching catalogs — instead users need to hit the “Back” button a few times.

Although I liked Google Catalog’s overall experience, the app did crash a considerable amount during my tests. I hope to see more catalogs and more stability with the next update.

Download the free Appolicious iPhone app

Search for more

Home Apps Games