Google Catalogs app for iPad makes shopping easy, saves some trees
The new Google Catalogs app for the Apple iPad is one great example of the best functionality a tablet can offer. The simple and elegant app is an aggregator of catalogs from various companies that features fashion, jewelry, gifts, home products and more. Products in each catalog are marked with a small price tag and a click on a tag takes you to a separate page with details on that item, including a link to buy the item online with another link to find the item locally.
The catalogs look better than they would on glossy magazine stock and it's great to be able to look at two dozen or more catalogs without having to actually have them. The added features, like embedded videos that bring some products to life and the ability to set up notifications for new catalogs, make it even better.
The included catalogs are pretty high-end, however, which targets this app at a certain clientele. Using the "Catalogs" tab you do have the option to add additional catalogs, but the available choices are more of the same, with the likes of Brooks Brothers, Neiman Marcus and UGG leading the way. To make this less elitist, Google should expand the catalog list to include a broader set of categories and vendors that will appeal to more people and at different income levels. I suppose some might say if you have an iPad you should be able to afford to shop at Brooks Brothers. That may or may not be true but I have an iPad and don't shop at Brooks Brothers by choice.