/// Is Browsing a Catalog More Fun on a Tablet?

March 27, 2012  |  All Things Digital

Unsolicited catalogs take up a frustratingly large amount of space in my snail mail, and I can’t remember the last time I ordered from one. Yet there’s something relaxing about sitting down and flipping through colorful, glossy pages to admire an ensemble from Anthropologie, read a recipe from Williams-Sonoma or catch up on trends at Nordstrom. [ See post to watch video ] Catalogs are ideally suited to a device that encourages people to sit back and relax while using it: the tablet. And in the past year, digital versions of catalogs—and more specifically, apps that pull together many free catalogs in one place—have found a home on iPads, Android tablets and Kindle Fires. This week, I tested three free catalog-aggregating apps to see how well they replaced paper: Catalog Spree by Padopolis for iPad, which includes fast navigation tools; Google Catalogs for iPad and Android tablets, which offers the most content; and TheFind’s Catalogue app for iPad and Kindle Fire, which has the cleverest way of opening a Web page when you’re ready to buy something. In these digitized catalogs, the pages turn with real-looking animations, and there are direct links from items to the websites that sell them. Each digital-catalog app excels at something different. Catalog Spree lets you clearly mark favorite items and their descriptions with yellow circles—as you might do in a physical catalog. Google Catalogs lets people create collages of various items that can be shared with friends via email or publicly with others who use the app.

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Is Browsing a Catalog More Fun on a Tablet?

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