Mobility Digest Review: Smart Shopping for WP7
I purchased this app back on 11/13/10 after evaluating nearly a dozen other shopping apps. At the time it was the closest to what I was looking for, but still lacked quite a bit of functionality. It had some great features like aisle view, pre-defined items list and a good looking interface. But you couldn’t save more than one list at a time, meaning you could not populate lists for two different stores. So I wandered over to the Microsoft Shopping List app, which was basic but got the job down. I left this app on my phone though, after all I did pay for it, and at least once a week Marketplace has pushed an update to the app. I decided to take another look at it today and boy was I surprised.
Smart Shopping now permits you to save multiple store lists, and a lot more. The My stores view lists all your current shopping lists. You can add a new list or edit/rename an existing list from this screen. Tapping a list opens it in detail view. When a list opens it defaults to “by item” view but you can swipe left to see the “by aisle” view which organizes your list quite nicely. Three buttons are displayed along the bottom; “add item”, “hide done” & “new list”. The popup menu adds; “create from favorites”, “change stores”, “email list”, “view shopping history” and “more”, which takes you to another menu to; “manage store aisles”, “change app settings” or “contact support”. I would really prefer to see the “new list” button pushed back to the popup list and buttons added for; “change stores” and “create from favorites”, which seem to be used more often.
When you tap “new item” a detail screen opens where you can start typing the name of your item. If it’s included in the pre-defined list, like; Apples or Apple sauce, the item will popup as you type and all you need to do is tap it to populate the fields. Otherwise keep typing your item. There is an option field where you can enter something like BOGO or coupon info along with a quantity field that defaults to 1. You use the aisle list to assign your item to a category/aisle. You can also add any item to your Favorites list. Buttons along the bottom give you options to; “save” or “cancel” (and “delete” in edit view) the current entry. Switching to “create from favorites” view displays a list of your selected items. You have the same edit options from this screen as well as +/- buttons to add or remove items from your current list. Pressing + increments the quantity count by 1 and pressing – decrements by 1. If you decrement to 0/null the item is hidden from the current list view. Nicely done. Four buttons along the bottom include; “add item”, “reset” – which changes all the quantities to zero, “delete all” and “help”. Both the reset and delete all options include an “are you sure” popup which is a nice add-in for fat fingered people, like me. To get back to your current list just tap the back button.
As you shop you can check items and use the “hide done” button to shorten your list. Once you have checked your last item a dialog will popup indicating that your Shopping is complete, and suggests that you start a new list. If you want to reuse your existing list instead, you can tap hide done again to show all checked items and just uncheck everything which used to be my preferred method cause building a new list was a PITA, or tap “new list” to be presented with a blank list for your current store. If you tap “view shopping history” from the popup list your just completed list will be included in “my lists”. You can tap that list and then choose to “use this list” to populate your new empty list or “delete this list” to dump it. Or if you have already started entering items or bringing over Favorites and still want to import a list from history, no problem. The app will ask if you want to merge the lists or discard your current list and overwrite. May sound complicated describing it here, but once you navigate through the app, it is all very intuitive and easy to select, update and create new lists.
My take on shopping list apps is that they should not take longer than the actual shopping trip to prepare. I don’t need to fill in 15 different fields for a loaf of bread. Most of my shopping is repetitive and I want something that I can add to anytime during the week and then actually use while I am out shopping. With this rediscovered gem of a shopping app, I almost can’t wait to try it out in action. One other note. The last time I used this app and more recently with the Microsoft shopping app, after adding a few dozen items and collecting some history, I noticed the app was taking several seconds to open which is a real pain while walking around the store. Smart Shopping still takes a couple seconds, but even with three store lists and a couple dozen items it is still faster than the Microsoft counterpart. That’s a good thing. So Smart Shopping has once again earned a spot on my Start screen. Sorry MS Shopping List. You can find Smart Shopping in Zune Marketplace here.
NOTE: The above link requires that Zune Marketplace is installed on your PC
this looks like a nice app damn it!
Two or three weeks ago I would not have given it any kind of exposure but the dev has worked hard to make it much better at least from my perspective. And just got another update I think Saturday. Two or three little things I would like to see, but otherwise well done.