Google Catalogs looks great, performs poorly

Google Catalogs for Android Honeycomb tablets aggregates shopping catalogs from over 100 popular retailers. Though beautiful and innovative, it unfortunately suffers from subpar performance.

The Google Catalogs app for Android Honeycomb tablets aggregates shopping catalogs from over 100 popular retailers. It lets you search and mark items as favorites, gives you links to make purchases directly from retailers' sites, and even lets you create and share visually stunning collages made up of your favorite products. However, as great as the app sounds on paper, it unfortunately suffers from some annoying performance issues that just can't be ignored.

The interface of the Google Catalogs app is beautiful. It's easy to navigate, features high-resolution graphics, and flips through pages quite smoothly. Items on catalog pages are marked with a small price tag icon. Click one to open up a larger picture, description, price, and even a link to purchase the product on the retailer's Web site. You can also easily add items to a Favorites list or share individual products, pages, or entire catalogs with friends.

Finally, where Google Catalogs shines brightest is its Collages feature, which lets you create, save, and share collages featuring any item from your Favorites list. With the beautifully simple collage editor, you can drag images around, change backgrounds, crop, layer, and even add borders and text boxes to your creations with ease. These collages are perfect for keeping track of collections of items you plan to purchase as well as images or pages you might find inspiring.

Unfortunately, where Google Catalogs falls short is its performance. The app suffers from laggy loading times, and chronically force closes. Also, it can't reorient itself as you rotate your device, which is annoying, to say the least.

Overall, we love the idea of the Google Catalogs app, and believe it has tons of promise. But with its laggy loading times and tendency to shut down for no reason at all, it's difficult to give it high marks. We suggest standing pat and waiting for the next update.

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