It should come as no surprise that the forward-thinking retailing giant leads the way in mobile. Its wildly successful app is a compulsive shopper's dream. It includes a new experimental feature called Amazon Remembers that could end up being huge: Users snap a photo of a product seen on the fly and Amazon then tries to match the photo to something in its store. Amazon, as always, gets that convenience is king. Well over half of reviewers give the app four or five stars.
• Released December 2008.
• Ranked No. 9 in App Store lifestyle category.
Missed opportunity: Gap's StyleMixer. The idea is sound: Give consumers a tool to help them mix and match Gap fashions. Yet reviewers pan it for its paucity of options. Over 5,000 users have given it just one star since its August release.
Financial Services:Bank of America Mobile Banking
Out of the many consumer banking apps, BofA sets the bar with an easy to use banking tool. It offers balances, bill paying and an ATM finder. Competitors Chase, Wells Fargo and Citibank have similar apps, but BofA edges them out. The simplicity of the user interface wins raves from fans.
• Released July 2008.
• No. 1 in App Store finance category.
Missed Opportunity: MasterCard's Priceless Picks. This app uses user-generated content, which opens a can of worms because the content is moderated. MasterCard's app, released in July 2009, gets panned by users for censoring their own "priceless" selections and its overload of ad offers.
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