Amazon has launched a free BlackBerry application, allowing customers to find, discover, and purchase products directly from their smartphone. The application is optimized for BlackBerry devices with track-ball interfaces. This means, at least for now, BlackBerry Storm users are left out in the cold (sorry, those of you still clinging on to your track-wheel 8700 or earlier models won’t be able to use the application either).
Installation of the application can be done wirelessly OTA (over-the-air), or you can choose to send a download link to your BlackBerry from your computer’s web browser.
If you want to download straight from your device, go to http://www.amazon.com/ from your BlackBerry Browser.
Send a download link to your BlackBerry from your Computer
You can also go to http://www.amazon.com/blackberry_app if you prefer to send the download link to your device via e-mail.
Unfortunately, it looks like you cannot download the Amazon application directly from RIM’s BlackBerry App World.
After you log into your Amazon account, the application will bring up the main screen — including recommendations.
The interface is familiar and user-friendly. The top tabs include the Shopping Cart, Wish List, Gold Box, Account Information, and Amazon Remembers — a new feature that allows you to take a picture with your BlackBerry and upload the photo to Amazon.com, where the photo is searched to find similar products. Once the customer receives results from the photo-search, they can select a matching item to purchase immediately or select to “remember” the item for later use in their Amazon account.
This feature could be very useful when you need to do some quick cost comparison shopping. Just snap a photo of the item, and let Amazon return the results!
I took a photo of my ever-present coffee tumbler to test out the Amazon Remembers feature.
The application’s interface easily lets you browse your Amazon Wish List and your account settings — including 1-Click purchasing, order history, and shipping/delivery information.
View your Wish List directly on your BlackBerry
View your Account Options.
I found the application very simple to use, and it is a great way to browse and purchase Amazon.com products directly from your BlackBerry. If Amazon was able to integrate their AmazonMP3 and Amazon Unbox services into the application, then I would be even more impressed.
Android handsets (er, just the G1 for now) can download MP3s from Amazon using the AmazonMP3 store. Bringing a similar feature to the BlackBerry would be a show-stopper as users could wirelessly browse and download songs to their devices. My only guess is that this could be something coming down the road…and something that will rely upon users being able to download an MP3 wirelessly to their micro SD cards.
As for Amazon’s Unbox Video feature, I think it just makes sense that down the road I should be able to browse and select a movie to rent and then wirelessly send that request to my TiVo so I can watch later that evening. I can rent and send the movie to my TiVo now from my computer, so I would think that is another feature consumers would like to have on their wireless devices.
Even missing those two features (I hope we see them both in future application updates), the Amazon application is a “must” for the BlackBerry.
What I like: The application seamlessly ties into your Amazon account to provide recommendations, product browsing, wish lists, account information, and one-click buying (if you enable it). The “Amazon Remembers” feature is a big help to anyone comparison shopping or wanting to find similar products on the go.
What needs improvement: I hope that future updates to the application bring users wireless AmazonMP3 purchasing and OTA downloading features, as well as wireless Amazon Unbox Video rental purchasing and scheduling to DVRs or Set Top Boxes enabled for Amazon’s Video service.