Google Catalogs App for Tablets Hands On

As we’ve already shown, Google recently unveiled their ‘Catalogs’ app for Android 3.x and the iPad. ‘Catalog’s brings holiday shopping to the fingertips of tablet owners around the world, replacing stacks of catalogs from various retailers. According to the Google Mobile Blog they already have more than 125 brands on board, including Nike, Thinkgeek and many more.

From my experience with the app on my Xoom, images are very crisp and sharp. It’s obvious that they take advantage of the full resolution of the tablet. Navigation is similar to other native Ice Cream Sandwich apps like Google+ and Google Voice, which is no surprise. Flipping through catalogs was fast and smooth, with semi-transparent purchase links above items available for purchase. Once an item is selected, it opens up a mini-browser within the application, allowing you to make purchases without ever leaving the app. The entire experience was fairly intuitive and a pleasure to use.

The ‘collages’ features is brilliant. It lets a user put together various favorite items from multiple catalogs into a visual presentation that can be shared [like a wish-list or parts-list].

The only awkward experience was the constant need to zoom in to read smaller text. Because this app reads through magazine-sized catalogs shrunken to fit on a 10-inch screen, often the high resolution scans just aren’t readable. This isn’t a big deal if you just pinch to zoom and clip, but note that you have to zoom back out to move to the next page.

You can check out the app yourself in the Android Market for free. Let us know what you think!

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