If you do a lot of shopping on Amazon with your smartphone, you probably use the official Amazon app. It’s also available for Windows 10, but the impression it brings is ambiguous.
Design and Usability 7/10
The app interface looks like Amazon’s website. It’s a virtual department store with all the departments sorted and easily accessible. Sections promoted by Amazon (like Amazon Music, electronics, Alexa and smart home devices) are put ahead. If you scroll down a bit, you’ll find other sections, like clothes, baby goods, software, home & kitchen, automotive and so on.
You may say that you see the same if you visit the site with your browser, and you’ll be right. Even private sections look the same after you log in.
The most annoying thing is that the app being, in fact, a shell for Amazon’s website, doesn’t fully embrace its features without external apps. As you click a link to learn more about a particular item, the page opens in your default browser. The app is meant to be a self-sufficient tool for shopping on Amazon. But it depends on your web browser too much.
There’s another issue that matters for people from many countries. If your language is different from English, Spanish, German, Portuguese or Simplified Chinese, the app will be useless, while the website will readily display the store in your language.
And, finally, you cannot just filter the stores, only allowing items that can be shipped to your country. Though those living outside the USA would appreciate this time-saving feature, it turned out not so easy.
Key Functions 9/10
It works quite perfectly when it comes to shopping. All you need is find the desired item (by scrolling, by entering the name or the keyword, or rather both ways), specify the delivery address, mark the item and put it to your cart, and then complete the purchase.
Search is done very efficiently. You can search by name or by parameters in the section (price, type, condition, some specifics), or just browse around like you do in malls.
It’s much better with digital items. The music you purchased on Amazon Store can be listened to straight from the app. The same is with streaming plans, like Unlimited or Prime.
Security and In-App Purchases 9/10
It’s the section we don’t know how to rate. On the one hand, the app is completely free. On the other, it’s all about in-app purchases, for what you need it for is probably buying something. On the third (oh my gosh!), you won’t benefit from using the app: it offers no exclusive deals, no bargains, and no gifts. There is a section named “Today’s Deals”, but it just mirrors the website page.
Amazon does a good job making sure products they sell are of good quality, but there can be some issues regarding Amazon App Store. Though third-party apps have to go through prior approval, and there were no reports of any harmful apps, it’s still a Pandora’s box.
Amazon app is not that necessary if you shop from time to time. But if you use smart home features, listen to Unlimited or Prime Music, or do a lot of shopping, you can find it easier to use than your browser.
In fact, the app just adds some Amazon to your desktop icons. The only reason to use this app is quick access to it with one click or tap (especially if you use MS Surface or something similar, tending to mobile type of experience). The rest can be done with your browser as well, unless it consumes too much memory with music streaming.