According to the horse, it’s “A complete rewrite of Amazon.com specifically for the iPad”, and it’s… weird. Do I like it? I’m really not sure.
As far as Amazon shopping apps for the iPad go, Windowshop is - to quote Chesney Hawkes - the one and only (unless you fancy stretching out the iPhone app), so it’s interesting that they’ve gone for such a unique take on the Amazon experience.
The UI is largely driven by product pictures, so when you first fire up Amazon Windowshop you’re presented with three rows of five objects, and it quickly becomes apparent that you can scroll down and/or to the right to your heart’s content. Random product mania, man. But there’s logic in the madness. Sort of.
See, each column represents a different product type, as subtly stated along the top of the screen. There’s a whopping 28 categories in total, but fortunately Amazon seems to have put the most popular (Electronics, Music, DVDs…) at the left, while waaay over on the right we’ve got Pet Supplies, Jewellery and Watches.
This theme of categorising products in columns continues when you browse, for example, Books. Amazon Windowshop breaks them down into 30 categories, from Art to Travel. Each category then has its own subcategories and so on. It’s all very column and category based.
My main gripe with this is that I’d rather scan through products in rows from left to right, not columns from top to bottom. Also, the interface is locked in landscape mode. Why?
Another relatively minor gripe is that personal recommendations don’t benefit from the aforementioned popularity contest (initially you’re looking at bestsellers as opposed to personalised recommendations). Instead we’ve got categories displayed alphabetically from A-Z: Baby, Beauty, Books, Car & Motorbike… As such, navigating to PC & Video Games is a total pain.
Speaking of recommendations, it’s nice of the feature to make an appearance in Amazon Windowshop, but it’s not possible to rate products you’ve already purchased, or dismiss products that simply don’t appeal.
On the whole, I want more customisation from Amazon Windowshop. I want to be able to remove redundant categories such as Groceries, or at least specify my favourites.
Also, this incessant thing with the columns is a bit much too. Why do Xbox Games have to be viewed in one single column or broken down into 16 – yes, 16! – different categories?
- Some content has previews
- Too focused on columns/categories
- Locked in landscape
- Not enough – or indeed anything – in the way of customisation
Summary: Amazon Windowshop is a unique take on the Amazon shopping experience, but unique doesn’t always equate to good. It could easily be much better with a few changes.
Requirements: Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later
Price: free @ App Store