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Google brings catalog shopping to iPad


Google has been in the news a lot this week, first with the announcement that the company is purchasing Motorola Mobility, and now with a new app that brings the fun of browsing through a stack of catalogs to the iPad. Google Catalogs (free) appeared on the App Store this morning and should be a popular app with catalog shoppers.

The app provides access to a spectrum of catalogs, from apparel and fashion home goods and gifts. Google Catalogs is more than just scans of catalogs, though -- you can zoom in on products, tap tags for pricing and details about listed items, and pull up additional pictures or videos. A tap tells you where to buy the item locally or directs you to a website for online purchasing.

Notifications tell you when new issues of your favorite catalogs arrive, and you can share products with friends through email. Creative types with nothing better to do can create collages of saved products to gaze at admiringly or share with jealous friends.

At the present time, the list of catalogs is rather limited, but Google promises to add more content to the mix soon. I hope so, as any lack of fashion, design, beauty, and jewelry sense makes the current variety of catalogs quite useless for all but fashionistas. Google Catalogs is well executed and obviously designed with the iPad in mind, but until a range of content other than $4,300 chairs and designer dresses is available, it won't resonate with a large audience.

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