Amazon’s come a long way since it’s early days as a specialist book store. Now you can buy more or less anything you fancy from Amazon, from trainers to furniture, to bike parts, to film and music and since amazon is now officially a retail superpower, its prices are also low, low, low, making it a great barometer for price comparison. The US .com site has had an app for a while now, but finally we have a UK version to play with…
The Amazon experience is pretty seamless online so you’d expect this app to put you in familiar territory. And it doesn’t disappoint – you login as you would online and then you’re presented with the familiar homescreen with search bar and personalised recommendations.
Via the account menu, you can access and alter your account details, view or cancel orders and track your packages. Amazon’s Wishlists are also supported, so you can set up a list of your favourite products to share with others as a Birthday or Christmas list for example.
Product listings are somewhat cut down – you don’t get the full description of the item you’re viewing, but you do get the user ratings and product suggestions for each product. It’s a minor omission really since the likelihood is that you’ll glean most of what you need either from the fact you’re scanning the product itself, or from the basic description you get in the title bar.
Continuing the theme of familiarity, the checkout gives you a distinct feeling of deja vu, so what you’re really getting from Amazon UK is a condensed version of the classic Amazon UI that’s perfectly tailored to Android.
But we’ve saved the best feature till last. Yes there’s a text search bar – you’d expect that – but there’s also a barcode scanner built into the app, allowing you to scan products while you’re out shopping in the real world and compare the prices immediately to those in the virtual one. Sometimes you don’t mind spending a bit more to get the item in your hand immediately, but it’s great to know just how much more you’re paying compared to buying online.
Amazon UK is a near-faultless app that replicates the simplicity of Amazon and adds that excellent barcode scanner into the mix. Worth downloading even if you’re not a regular Amazon user.
The Bottom Line
Amazon’s new UK-specific app is ridiculously easy to use and a great price comparison engine when out and about.
Version reviewed 1.0.8
Requires Android 1.5 and up