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Shopping iPhone Applications
Shopping applications tend to be relatively well prepared, even if using the iPhone as a format for shopping is not usually that good. The reason for this is that it is only very well-established companies that do this, especially those that already have a well-known online shopping persona. In this way it would be a major loss for them to not create a well-positioned shopping application for their respective outlet, both as an avenue for actually shopping and to extend their brand image. They offer these applications for free because they are really built in advertising vessels that help ensure that you will shop with them because they have made another platform perfectly easy for you to connect with.
Both Amazon and Ebay's free iPhone applications rank very highly in terms of what they have prepared for iPhone users, but still have certain issues that simply come with the technology. Now Best Buy's free iPhone application is hitting the iTunes' App Store top download lists, and it seems that Best Buy is pushing this as a supposed way to cut down on the holiday shopping time. It may end up just increasing your iPhone viewing time.
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The Best Buy iPhone application even promotes itself as a vehicle to find out about weekly deals, which is a blatant marketing ploy and may still be useful for some. Even the load screen is meant to be somewhat ironic and brand related as it reminds you that the load time isn't so long in comparison to the full store you are getting. It is a little long, no matter how you look at it. This is going to run easier if you employ the iPhone's Wi-Fi functions instead of just using the 3G network, and this is true for all iPhone shopping applications and not just Best Buy online.
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The Best Buy
The design itself is actually a little more clever than other shopping applications found for free on the iPhone. The different departments are broken up into a grid on the home page, each with a respective picture. At the bottom you have tabs for shopping, specific tools that are built in like favorites and settings, one for deals, your shopping cart and one to find store locations.
When you are going into the various sections to perform your shopping functions you maintain the same grid perspective until you get to specific lists of merchandise, which has a relatively significant load time. Here you can view basic product information such as cost, rating, summary and photo. All of this is in fairly reasonable presentation and easy to use.
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Shopping for the Holidays
It is a very cheap trick for Best Buy to provide an application like this, but it is still great within this context. You are not going to find everything you need with the Best Buy application, but it sure may help. In general this shows a pathway for other iPhone shopping applications that are just getting off the ground, though we will likely see more consumer driven iPhone shopping applications become more and more popular. Especially if they employ some form of social networking. Seven and three quarters out of ten stars.