APP OF THE DAY: Amazon Mobile (Tablet) review (Android)
Amazon Mobile is one of the greatest coups of the shopping world. You walk into a high street store, scan what you want to buy, examine the price online compared to the shop you’re physically standing in and press buy, because it’s inevitably cheaper.
Tablets have a slightly different use case, because you’re not going to surreptitiously haul that 10-incher out of your pocket in public to shoot the barcode on the back of a Game of Thrones boxset. With that, we turn to App of the Day, and nestle down on to the sofa for some tablet shopping.
Amazon Mobile (Tablet)
- Google Play
Tablets, we’re told, are used in bed and on the sofa. Their domestic servitude brings you a larger screen for your you entertainment and shopping, giving a virtual marketplace like Amazon more space to flaunt its wares. Therefore, Amazon on the tablet makes perfect sense.
But Amazon in tablet form has something of a chequered history. The Android app was on limited release for some time, both geographically and in terms of the devices it supported. It’s perhaps surprising, then, that Amazon Mobile for Tablet has only just rolled out to the wider world.
The big difference it brings is that it makes much better use of space. Search returns results in two columns in landscape, whereas the smartphone version returns single-column results. That means products can be larger, with larger text, so browsing is a more pleasant experience. The tablet app will switch to single column when you rotate it into portrait.
The product listing pages are much better looking too. More space is given over to a nice big picture, with multiple pictures and even video content coming in. Search for a movie and now Amazon will show you the trailer.
The left-hand column gives you the essential information - add to basket, delivery details, wish list - with the product description on the same page, rather than requiring an additional click as in the phone app.
Scrolling down the page takes you to other details and customer reviews, so it really is all on the same page.
In terms of actual functionality there’s little difference, as the smartphone app is quite comprehensive, but missing from the tablet edition is the barcode scanning feature. We think that’s practical, especially as a number of tablets don’t have rear cameras anyway and, as we said in the intro, you're much less likely to be trying to scan potential purchases with a tablet.
But otherwise, all the functions of Amazon are better laid out. Searching by category or browsing recommendations is a cleaner and richer experience in Amazon Tablet. It’s been a long time coming, but we’re happy it’s now arrived. The only issue is going to be which devices are supported by the app - with the middle ground between phones and tablets merging, you might have to fiddle around to get the version of the app you want on the device in your pocket.