If you’re looking to save some money on books for school, you might benefit from CollegeBooks for iPhone, that is intended to help you find the best price on the book you’re looking for.
CollegeBooks’s sole purpose is to help you save money when shopping for college books. You can begin your search by either choosing a nearby retailer (another option is to just browse manually) or search by a book. You can search a book by the title, author or ISBN number if you have one. Upon searching for your desired criteria you’ll be presented with a list of books. Tapping each one will reveal a more detailed list of various retailers and their price for the specific book you’ve selected. Prices are shown for various purchasing options as well, like “new”, “used” or “rental”, which is convenient. Right from the list you can tap the buy button to view the retailer’s listing online via Safari. The app also lets you find retailers and view their contact information and the like. Also, every time you browse a book, it will be saved into your list as history item so you always have access to your recently viewed books.
Overall, my first impression of the app is that its very far from being complete. The navigation is extremely confusing because regardless of what you select, the screen always slides to the left and the back button always slides to the right. This might seem logical at first but then you’ll notice that the back button looped over the same screen three times. There is also an extremely poor use of space. There are giant gaps between search results, and the navigation, advertising and tab bar take up a lot of screen real estate so the overall browsing experience is very tedious. Loading of information is excruciatingly slow as well, and in some cases, it never load all together. For example, I never managed to get the local retailer search to work. While this may seem like a poor connection issue, other apps are flying at lightning speeds on the same network. Finally, I just think the application in general needs a little fine-tuning to be ready for primetime. In the mean time, if you’re looking to save money on college books, CollegeBooks for iPhone will still help you do that.