Take a look in the “New and Noteworthy” section of Apple’s App Store this week and you’ll notice a new, free shopping app called Boutiques. What makes a shopping app noteworthy? Simple, Google made it.
Boutiques, a website that doesn’t look like any other standard Google property, is a high-fashion store where you can shop virtual boutiques based on the styles of celebrities, designers, amongst others. The website is easy to use, with lots of social features, and has search options you’d expect out of Google.
So, why the native iPad app — what’s the difference between the two?
The Boutiques iPad app, unlike the website, is all about the imagery – there is very little text. Storefronts are browsed by a flick of the finger instead of clicking through a bunch of links. Once inside a store, swiping left to right through the items feels like rifling through clothes on a rack. You are even greeted with a familiar, welcoming chime when you launch the app, similar to the sound you hear upon walking into a shop.
Like the website, the app lets you narrow your search by several categories, such as silhouette, designer, and color. If you’d like, you can virtually window shop through everything. You can follow your favorite boutiques, “Love” items, leave comments, and share what you like via e-mail.
There is a search field in the upper right corner that is always there so you can search from anywhere in the app. Unfortunately, the app does not download data to the iPad — so if you don’t have an internet connection, no shopping for you.
Some features that the website has that the iPad app doesn’t include a quiz that lets you set up your own boutique based on your personal style preferences, a “Hate” option for items, and detailed boutique style preferences.
Overall, the Boutiques app is stable with a friendly user interface and easy search options. For the fullest Boutiques experience, I’d suggest going to the website first to set up your own boutique then hopping over to the iPad app to socialize and shop. Boutiques.com is brand new and Google promises more selection on the site, so expect updates to the iPad app as well.
Boutiques for the iPad is available as a free download from the App Store.