Remember when a mysterious new category appeared in the App Store on the eve of the this past week’s iPad announcement? The discovery led most of the Apple blogosphere to believe that some sort of interactive catalog experience would be making its way to the new iPad’s gorgeous Retina display. How exciting!
As it turns out, the Catalogs section of the App Store has launched, and it’s not really that amazing at all. In fact, it’s pretty awful.
If you visit the new Catalogs category in the App Store, you’ll see that it’s mostly filled with shopping apps for the iPhone. There are some universal apps with iPad versions, but Apple even goes so far as to call the category “iPhone Catalogs.”
You’ll get a good idea of the category’s overall quality by perusing through the “What’s Hot” section. There’s nothing that exciting, and most of the apps look poorly designed. It seems like Apple migrated over many titles from the Lifestyle App Store category, and for no apparent reason.
SkyMall, a fairly recognizable catalog magazine, has a particularly horrendous iPhone app you can download for free. Most of the available apps are for incredibly niche markets (with the exception of several apps for more recognizable retailers, like Arhaus Furniture) or are entirely pointless. To be honest, the entire category seems like a random mistake. There’s absolutely nothing to go on as to why Apple decided to launch it now.