I switched to reading ebooks a couple of years ago and consume most of my news on my computer or tablet. I absolutely hate mail and try to have all my statements and everything done online. I’m all about digital and look forward to the day that mail boxes become antique. That probably won’t happen anytime soon but we are one step closer with the newly released Google Catalogs app in the Android Market. Now you can browse your favorite catalogs right on your tablet with high quality images. No more mail boxes with crammed catalogs that end up thrown around the house.
The Google Catalogs home screen has only four menus which includes Featured, Catalogs, Favorites, and Collages. The Featured section displays catalogs in a scroll bar at the bottom. When you choose your catalog, pages are displayed in landscape mode with 2-page view. There are several ways to navigate like swiping left and right, pages thumbnails, and a scroll bar at the bottom. You can zoom on any page but must zoom out in order to go to the next page. In each page, items for purchase have a tag on them and selecting any item brings up a new screen with item info, pics and option to purchase from website. The purchase option brings up another screen connecting you to the catalog website. I found that it was too hard to purchase through this method and most likely you will use your computer or other device.
Any catalog or item can be added to your favorites. Once you’ve added a catalog, you’ll be notified when new ones arrive. Adding items to your favorites will let you easily view them again or can be used to make your own collages. The Collages section is pretty cool where you can browse collages by other people or add your own. In a collage, if you like any item just choose it and it will display what catalogs it’s from with option to connect. As more people use this app, then more collage will be available which adds another browsing experience.
The graphics and look of this app is good but there are a few issues. There is no option to view in portrait mode so you can view single pages. A lot of the text in the catalogs are unreadable even when you zoom in. Obviously content is king and if the catalog you want isn’t in the app then it’s no use. The list of current catalogs is decent but more needs to be added in order to make this app of general use. Despite some of its flaws, I really enjoyed the browsing experience of the app and would recommend anyone to try it out. As this app improves, it will really be the way of the future for catalogs.
Download from the Android Market.