The elevator pitch for the new Amazon Windowshop app for iPad is an impressive one …
The Amazon Windowshop app is a top to bottom rewrite of Amazon.com – designed and built without compromise just for iPad. It is an amazing new way to shop Amazon’s millions of items.
I installed the app soon after it was released last week and have spent a fair bit of time with it since – and I have to say I’m very impressed with it.
Here’s more detail on the app straight from its App Store description:
Same selection, same low prices, same fast delivery, same benefits of your Amazon Prime membership – just a completely new fluid interface designed specifically for lean-back, touch screen tablets. With the flick of a finger you will be able to visually browse across many best selling product categories. Windowshop invites you to discover and browse products within popular lists like “Featured”, “Bestsellers”, “Recommendations”, “New Releases”, “Most Wished For”, “Most Gifted”, and “Movers & Shakers”.
Windowshop for iPad allows you to:
• Discover more products within a category by touching the category (column) heading and be presented with all of the subcategories with hundreds of additional, related products.
• Explore the deep Amazon.com catalog by selecting the Browse button and picking the list type desired (Best Sellers, New Releases, Recommendations, etc…) then browse the categories and subcategories to find the products you are looking for.
• Learn more about the products by selecting the product from the grid of product images and be presented with the detailed product screen including the pictures and videos related to that product (which includes 30 second samples for the music items). Included are tabs for product details and description, user reviews, and related products.
• Take advantage of Amazon Prime membership by easily discovering which products qualify for Amazon Prime.
• Get a close-up view of the product by tapping on the product image and leverage the iPad capabilities to zoom into the hi resolution images.
• Complete purchases quickly by taking advantage of Amazon 1-Click checkout.
• Share items you have discovered via e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter.
• Save an item for later by adding it to your Wish List.
• Access all of your wish lists.
• Continue your Amazon shopping as the Windowshop application uses the same Amazon account, cart, wish, list, authentication, etc.
As you can tell from the list above, this is a very full-featured app. The features don’t overwhelm the experience though. It’s got very slick and effective user interface that’s a real pleasure to work with.
When you open the app, you’re presented with a handsome scrollable view of bestsellers in a number of top-level categories, including: Electronics, Books, Kindle Store, Toys & Games, Televisons & Video, MP3 Downloads, and more.
Navigation is easy and very well organized in every area of Windowshop. You can search from the top bar and it will start auto-suggesting items as you type.
You can sign in with your Amazon ID. If you do, you’ll have easy access to do things like track packages, view or cancel orders, or adjust your ‘Mobile 1-click’ settings. These settings let you set the shipping address and credit card you want to use within the app – so that when you purchase an item, the process is very quick and easy.
When you look at an individual item, the popover window you’re presented with is great to work with. There is a set of tabs along the left-hand side that lets you switch between viewing Related, Reviews, Details, and Photos for the item. Along the right-hand side of the popover window you have Buy Now, Add to Cart, Add to Wish List, and Share buttons.
Amazon had previously done a creditable job optimizing their web pages for the iPhone, and the experience of using their store in Mobile Safari on iDevices has always been good.
Windowshop blows that experience out of the water though. My early impression is that it’s every bit as good a shopping experience as you have in the iTunes store and the App Store, and it kicks iBooks’ butt as far as browsing for both digital (Kindle) and printed books.
You can find Amazon Windowshop in the App Store now, and it’s a free app.