Google usually does a good job with their apps, but Google Catalogs leaves us scratching our heads a little. Available today for Android-powered tablets and the iPad, Google Catalogs brings paper catalogs from Nordstrom, Williams-Sonoma, Nike, and Sephora (plus 125 or so others) to your lap. What’s interesting is the app brings not only magazine-style browsing, but YouTube videos and in-app purchasing as well.
That’s where we’re confused. While we dig the idea of a richer shopping experience than many mobile websites currently don’t offer, Google almost had the perfect e-Magazine reader here, but missed the mark.
Imagine, instead of simply “porting” paper product catalogs into an app that works great tablets, they could have developed a platform to enable magazines, comic books, and maybe even newspapers with videos, additional information, and even let readers purchase advertised item from within the app. They could have given us a killer platform — instead we got only catalogs. Oh, and it’s only available on tablets — not smartphones or the iPod touch.
Perhaps we’re being too harsh, the concept really is cool. We just hoped we’d get a Google-based e-Magazine reader sooner than later — and one that works on our smartphones, too.
Source: Google Mobile blog