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Tap That App
Top big store shopping apps for iPadWhy wait in long lines and suffer the holiday rush when you can shop from your couch? Check out these big store apps that making shopping on your iPad a snap.
Welcome to Tap that App, I'm Jason Parker and this is the show where we cover the hottest apps in the mobile space. The gift giving season is here, and if you're like me and want to avoid the shopping rush, the traffic, and the crowds, I have the perfect trifecta of big store shopping apps for you. To find the cream of the crop, I looked at a bunch of shopping apps from major stores like Nordstrom, Target, Zappos, and Walmart, and then narrowed it down to my three favorites. These apps are the easiest to use and make it a snap to comparison shop and get exactly what you're looking for. To get started, the Sears app for iPad lays out shopping categories on a continuous scrolling page. Everything from appliances and clothing to beauty products and toys can be found by browsing the main page. But if you want to search for something, hit the Products button in the upper left. Here you'll find a list of categories and a search box to enter exactly what you want. We'll search for Craftsman tools. The Sears app gives you a big list of search results, and by touching an item, you get a bigger image of the product, the list price, a description of the item, and options for adding it to your shopping list or even sharing it on social sites. What makes this app great is how quickly you can navigate through the catalog and the well-designed layout makes it easy to shop on your iPad. Like all the apps I'm talking about today, the Sears App is free. Next up, no shopping app list would be complete without the Amazon Mobile app. Rather than setting up its catalog in categories like Sears, the Amazon app gives you featured or sale items on the home page, but relies on the search box for getting around its inventory. We'll try searching for "Blu Ray player" as that is a popular item this season. As you can see, the Amazon app lists all the blue ray players on the left with the lowest prices listed and shows the starred reviews for each product. Tapping a product brings it up in the right-side window. The product page indicates if it's currently available, and lets you perform tasks like adding it to your wishlist, buying it immediately, or sifting through prices at various locations. On the bottom the app lays out detailed specs, customer reviews, and similar items that are easy to navigate with a tap of your finger. If you have an Amazon account, you can sign in and view current deals, Recommended items, your wishlist and more, just like the Web site. Amazon is also a free app, and is a fantastic resource for holiday shopping and comparing prices between stores. My third app today doesn't have the variety of the first two, but offers a layout that might be the best of the bunch. Zappos was initially known for shoes and that hasn't changed, but they have a few categories to look through that will be useful this holiday season. To show how smartly the app is designed we'll try searching for men's clothing. The app displays categories with big pictures so they're easy to see on the iPad. Going to the Jackets and Coats section, you'll notice that they're listed with big pictures so it's easy to browse through different styles. You can swipe to look through all the selections or tap a coat to go to the product page. Not only does it display a giant picture of the product, you can swipe to see more views or change the color and the app responds instantaneously. The right side shows pricing and size selections, and you can quickly look at product details, browse through reviews, or read about the brand in more detail. You also can sign in to your account and add items to favorites or share items on twitter, via sms to a friend, or through e-mail. As you can see, even though the free Zappos app doesn't have the variety of products the other two have, the shopping experience might be the best of the group on the iPad. That's all we have time for today, but if you want a much more relaxing shopping experience this holiday season, I recommend you tap any of these big store shopping apps. That's it for this weeks show, if you have any suggestions, send them to Tap That App at cnet.com. I'm Jason Parker and we'll see you next time.