Way back in 2002 Google launched catalog search. It was ultimately shut down in April, 2009. The product allowed users to browse popular mail-order catalogs or search across catalogs for specific products.
In many ways it was crude yet cool and useful. I liked it but it wasn’t enough of a traffic driver to justify its continued existence at a time when Google was shuttering under-performing products.
Taking advantage of the magazine-like format of the iPad it similarly allows users to browse specific catalogs and search across all available inventory for particular products. The app also allows users to customize a “my catalogue” area as well as save any single item or store catalog to the personal dashboard.
It’s not unlike Amazon’s tablet app WindowShop, which allows for similar browse/search shopping. However TheFind presents a wider array of products from branded retailers. Catalogue is very well suited to the “lean back” tablet experience. There were a few glitches and performance issues for me but overall it’s a very well-designed app.
Late last year Google launched Boutiques.com and I was wondering when the company would launch a Boutiques iPad app and, viola, I discovered today that in fact they had.