Amazon launches Windowshop app for iPad

Faith Merino · October 26, 2010 · Short URL:

The free app allows users to shop for books, movies, music, and more

I’m starting a list of reasons why I need an iPad, so that whenever a situation arises in which an iPad would be really convenient, I’ll say out loud to whoever is nearby, “This is why I need an iPad.”  You’d be surprised at just how effective that is.  It worked when I started my list of reasons why I need an iPhone.  Today’s reason-why-I-need-an-iPad?  Amazon announced Tuesday the release of a new app designed exclusively for the iPad called Windowshop. 

The app represents an entire rewrite of for the multi-touch iPad screen.  Products, such as books, movies, music, and more, are presented as a grid of thumbnails that users can browse through by swiping through the selection.  Products are presented in columned categories, such as “New Books,” “Featured,” “Most Wished For,” “Recommendations,” “New Music Tuesday” (Amazon intends to update the music wall every Tuesday), “Amazon Book Editors Picks,” and more. 

"Amazon Windowshop is a top-to-bottom rewrite of – designed and built without compromise just for iPad," said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of, in the company’s press release. "Try it. I think you'll find it’s an amazing new way to shop Amazon's millions of items. Same selection, same low prices, same fast delivery, same benefits of your Amazon Prime membership – just a completely new, fluid interface designed specifically for lean-back, touch screen tablets.”

As a user swipes through the grid, he/she can highlight walls or open thumbnails to get samples of music, movie trailers, or book synopses (which are presented in both text and audio format).  When opened, thumbnails can take up the entire screen to present descriptions, user reviews, and videos. 

And just like Amazon’s regular Web interface, a user can buy an item and go to Amazon’s checkout page to add payment and shipping details and confirm the purchase.  The app also allows Amazon Prime members to check out with Amazon’s 1-click checkout. 

The backend, of course, remains the same, with 49 fulfillment centers and plenty of in-stock items.  Users can also share viewed items and purchases via Facebook, Twitter, and email, or can save an item for later viewing on the Wish List.  The app is available for free download starting Tuesday via the iTunes App Store. Check out the demo below to see how it works. Now you, too, can start a "Reasons Why I Need an iPad" list.

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