Just in time for the holiday gift buying frenzy, online retail behemoth Amazon has taken the wraps off of a new way to help separate your money from your wallet. A free new iPad app, Windowshop, optimizes the Amazon shopping experience for the device.
I had a chance to download and use the new app this morning, and I like the fact that it has been written from the ground up for the iPad. It only allows browsing in landscape orientation, which is fine with me, but might irritate some who prefer the more book-like portrait mode.
Upon loading the app on your iPad, you'll immediately see columns of products arrayed on a side-scrolling screen. You can log into the app with your Amazon account, which then enables recommendations from the retailer and makes it way too easy to use one-click buying.
Performing a search in the new app lists applicable products by store -- I did a search for "micro four-thirds cameras" which brought up results in Camera & Photo, Electronics, Books, Musical Instruments (???), and Sports & Outdoors. After scrolling the Camera & Photo store listing up and down with my finger, I found the camera I wanted to look at and tapped on it. A window containing photos of the camera, pricing information, details, reviews and more appeared in an animated swoop, and I could then tap and flick my way through information about the camera.
Above and below the item are small arrows that point to similar items, like a 3D lens that works with the camera or an accessory battery pack. All in all, it's a very natural and smooth way to window shop for items that you may end up buying. Kudos to Amazon for developing an iPad shopping app that definitely shows a lot of design savvy. Check out a few screenshots below for an idea of how the app looks and works.