See the latest home offerings with IKEA Catalog for iPad

Sep 14, 2011
Shopping

IKEAs are still hard to come by in the U.S., but even if there’s not a location nearby, you can still get some decor inspiration from the Swedish home-furnishing mecca. If you didn’t receive the 2012 catalog this summer — or even if you did — app IKEA Catalog for iPad, IKEA USA is worth […]

IKEAs are still hard to come by in the U.S., but even if there’s not a location nearby, you can still get some decor inspiration from the Swedish home-furnishing mecca. If you didn’t receive the 2012 catalog this summer — or even if you did — app IKEA Catalog for iPad, IKEA USA is worth a download for fans of the big blue store.

After downloading the app, you’ll have to prompt IKEA Catalog to actually download the catalog itself. Silly, but I assume this is to speed up downloading since the catalog file size is more than 450 MB. Installation isn’t speedy, but the file will download in the background and the app will send a push notification when the transfer is complete.

Once installed, users will have access to the complete 2012 catalog. The UI relies on multiple-direction swiping. Shoppers are presented with a vignette image, and swipe up to see individual products or swipe left to flip back. The app supports both portrait and landscape viewing, but landscape is best for seeing full images. Throughout the app, users will find videos that offer design tips and inspiration.

Many of IKEA’s products are only available in-store, but even so, I think a major downside to the app is that there’s no integration with online shopping. You can open the website in an inline window, but much of the site runs in flash and isn’t supported on iPad. Despite the limited online offerings, it’d still be useful if the app offered integrated product links like in the web version of the catalog.

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I was also surprised that there is no shopping list or favorites feature — IKEA Catalog for iPad, IKEA USA is begging for such a feature and would be much more useful for brick-and-mortar shoppers if added. For now, users will have to rely on the bookmark feature or keep track of items they want to buy in the future.

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