Meant to be a streamlined and touchscreen-optimized version of Amazon.com, Amazon Mobile for iOS hasn’t been an app with lots of functionality. Nevertheless, the company continues its attempts to improve the mobile device experience with today’s update adding search result and product viewing options, plus providing some maintenance. Annoyingly, these new features are only available when using the app on an iPhone or iPod touch.
The previous version of Amazon Mobile already included search refinement options, however, v1.9 provides sorting options as well. After the initial search results appear, filter them to a specific department by tapping on the button in the top-right. Once you’ve selected a department, the top-right button will become Refine. Tap on the Refine button to adjust the filtering and sorting options. Following an option modification, you’re taken back to the search results, causing multiple choices to be extremely tedious.
Another enhancement involving search results is the item limit. In earlier versions of the app, the results list would stop at 100 items. As of Amazon Mobile v1.9, there is no limit to the amount of items shown.
For the final feature addition, Amazon has implemented photo zooming. Previously, selecting pictures within the product details would display the image full screen. In this latest version of Amazon Mobile, you can use the two finger expand gesture or a double tap to get an even closer look.
So, what does this all boil down to? Well, Amazon has never put a lot of effort into iOS app development. In fact, they still only have a web app for their Cloud Player. Although, it doesn’t mean I can’t be disappointed. Not only are these latest features long overdue, but not offering them on the iPad side of a universal app is shameful at best.
To go a couple of steps further, features are poorly implemented anyway. For some examples, the lack of zoom wouldn’t be a problem on the iPad if Amazon would just display the images full screen and the sort by price isn’t ordered properly. To be fair, the price issue could be from the order being based on retail price rather than the selling price, though that wouldn’t make much sense.
Amazon Mobile is a universal app compatible with iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch running iOS 3.0 or later, and available in the App Store as a free download.