Google has released a brand new mobile app that I don’t think anyone saw coming. It’s called Catalogs, and you can find it as a free download on the App Store right now (or on the Android market, if you happen to be into that sort of thing). Basically, the company appears to have used its Google Books technology to scan and set up links on a number of different holiday shopping catalogs, so you can load up the app, flip through the virtual pages to find something you want, and then click away to buy it directly from your mobile tablet.
The links aren’t built in to the app — they more or less just open up an internal app browser that then lets you buy the product online. But the experience is pretty seamless otherwise; there are over 400 catalogs to browse through, and I quickly saw brands like ThinkGeek, Nike, Sonoma Williams, Sharper Image, and Pottery Barn on display.
It’s a pretty specific use of Google’s search and scanning software, but hey — it’s free, and it might help with the holiday shopping this year. Google Catalogs is available now.
Google releases catalogs app for iPad (and Android) originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 28 Nov 2011 16:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.