Is there anything that Google doesn't do? It appears not. It's even come along and revitalized the catalog market now with the iPad app Google Catalogs.
I remember the golden days of catalogs (or catalogues as people on my side of the Atlantic call them), when people would have huge booklets of pretty photos and information about various products, all so that they could browse stores from the comfort of their sofa. This app does pretty much that while saving effort, paper and space by allowing users to browse from their ever-stylish iPad devices.
The app offers a variety of different catalogs, much like the web based version of Google Catalogs that was was discontinued in 2009. Numerous top brands are on offer, such as Antrhopologie, Bare Escentuals, Bergdorf, Goodman, Crate and Barrel, L.L. Bean, Lands' End, Macy's, Neirman Marcus, Nordstrom, Pottery Barn, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sephora, Sundance, Tea Collection, Urban Outfitters and Williams-Sonoma, as well as others that I'm far too uncool/British to know about. It comes to over 100 in all.
The app is simple to use with the ability to zoom in to see products up close, find products in nearby stores and view photo albums and videos. Viewing items according to price is simple enough also. Users can then create their own collages of favorite collections of products and they can get instant access to new catalogs through the app as soon as they become available. Purchasing is similarly easy with a single tap taking users to a merchant's website or information about the nearest store.
Most intriguing of all is that this app has come to the iPad before Android devices. While we're not ones to encourage rivalry between the formats, it is a curious development. Presuambly an Android version will follow in the future.
Either way, Google Catalogs is out now for the iPad and it's a free app.