Online shopping has become such a staple in American consumer life that it seems only natural to take some of those online boutiques and shove them strait into free iPhone applications. Apple has taken it upon themselves to release iPhone defining applications that allow you to take your device to a fully integrated level, or at least promote their brand image to no end. The Apple Store free iPhone application brings everything, ranging from general content to the sleek Gattaca inspired website design, from Apple.com into an iPhone format. From the Apple Store application we actually get a very clean interface that is reminiscent of most of the other large budget stores that have developed shopping apps for the iPhone, which reminds us that there tends to be a common design in most iPhone apps.
The Apple Store iPhone app is divided into a few key areas, and first look at this may even remind you of the classifications and bottom task bar of the iPhone App Store application. To the far left there will be a Featured spot, which is going to list very specific products that Apple is trying to pitch as the modern "must haves." This can range from the newest incarnation of the Mac Mini, another reminder that the iPad has been released, the Magic Mouse, Apple Care, or any other sub-product that is available.
The next section is Products and is broken up into simply the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and iPod. Once you select from one of these you will be able to choose a specific product from that heading or a series of accessories that Apple has designed for it. This is a nice choice and really does try to scale down what was already a markedly user friendly web store. The page for each product is noticeably basic, yet has every bit of relevant information you are really going to want. At least if you are shopping on your iPhone.
The Stores tab will allow you to either use the iPhone's location feature or search by zip code and state to find Apple Stores that are near you. This will take you to somewhat of a profile page for that store with an option to view events and make reservations, similar to what they have up on their home site. This can be a very useful tool when trying to get your iPhone in for a check up, get into the Genius Bar, or just talk to a real person about your faulty internet connection.
Inside Apple Store your purchases really follow a simple "tap and buy" format. Once you set the specifics about a certain product, such as its general storage space and tech specs, you can select to Add to Cart. Here you have to go through several offers that you can either select or decline, which is par for the course when dealing with Apple. After that you head over to the Check Out tab and follow the directions, which should be strikingly familiar to anyone that grew up in the area of internet commerce.
At this point there is really no question that the Apple Store iPhone application is at the top of its game in terms of iPhone shopping applications. It has taken the style of iPhone usage and has actually modeled its web service to fit that, instead of going the other way around. This efficiency in design is one of the reasons that the Apple Store is not the only piece of software that has broken up their inventory this way, but the fact that the actual screen options have been broken down into the most base types of products Apple makes is what highlights this as something notable. Obviously you like at least a certain branch of Apple's products if you have an iPhone to even port the store too. The real question is how many people are really willing to spend a substantial amount of money through an iPhone application when the average person is always about thirty feet away from a computer. Most items at the Apple Store cost upwards of several hundred dollars and it seems unlikely that when you need to build a new Macbook Pro you are going to just decide to do this from the back seat of your best friend's car on a road trip. This is really nothing to Apple as it extends access to their brand store even further, but its really up to you to see if this speaks to you in any way.