Developer: AMZN Mobile LLC
Price: free Download on the App Store
Amazon.com is one of the first places I check whenever I'm intent on buying something (forget about the part that I often buy stuff I don't need).
I go to Amazon to research products, read personalized recommendations and the always-interesting customer reviews. The prices are quite good but I've learned there may a better deal over the horizon, so I'll often keep foraging.
The other day, Amazon released Amazon Mobile, a free iPhone app that promises to keep me coming back to the world's largest department store.
Amazon Mobile enables users to search for products, read reviews, make purchases — in sum, to do nearly all the things I would ordinarily do from my desktop. There's even that 1-click buying button, that's so alluring to foolish impulse buyers like me.
What's really interesting about Amazon Mobile is its experimental mode called Amazon Remembers. Use the iPhone camera to take pictures of items you might like to buy while you're out and on the go. The online store and the app store maintain the visual list of things you lust after.
If the item you take a picture of is a product, Amazon will attempt to find similar products for sale and if it does, it will alert you via an email. You can look at what Amazon found on the iPhone, desktop email or Web site. A job like that takes a lot of computer horsepower, something Amazon is well known for having.
I snapped a picture of the Logitech mouse I use and in about 2 minutes, I received an email with the correctly identified product, reviews, price and the option to add it to my cart or tap the dreaded 1-click shopping button.
My picture was a good one, so the quick results did not surprise me much. When I started taking random pictures of chairs, TVs and other items, the results were poor. The better the quality of the photo, the greater the chance of success. It's what I would expect.
I wrote about a similar image-recognition app for books called SnapTell Explorer and I was pretty impressed with it. Amazon Mobile just blows me away in comparison. It's not perfect, but it's a keeper for sure.