Thursday, July 17, 2008

Evaluating Splash Shopper for iPhone

I did my gopher dance this morning when I saw that the great, all-powerful Splash Shopper was included among the web apps for the new iPhone OS. I’ve been an iPhone user for nine months but haven’t relinquished my frumpy Treo because I can’t stock my kitchen without Splash Shopper.

After fidgeting around with the iPhone version for more hours than I’d like to admit, I’m no longer doing the happy dance. My eyes hurt and my hands are twitchy. I’m disappointed with the release. Looks like I’m stuck with the Treo for awhile longer.

Splash Shopper for Palm OS has served me incredibly well. Here’s why I love it:

1. Filtering by store, or category (i.e. vegetables, cereal, condiments) allows one-stop-shopping or hitting a variety of stores with a list of what you need at each store.

2. Desktop application/sync keeps everything backed up and is easier to enter multiple items or new lists.

3. Allowing me to create multiple shopping lists - a shopping list just for an upcoming camping trip and another for my daughter’s beach birthday party.

4. Keeping track of recommended items like wine, music, movies, books. Also, the GIFTS category helps me remember what birthday gifts I need to purchase and organize my Christmas shopping.

The iPhone version fails both sorting/filtering and desktop/syncing. The sorting feature was what made the original software so brilliant; without it it’s pretty lackluster. The desktop version, which will include syncing to the iPhone, hasn't been released yet. Since it’s much easier to start a shopping list via your desktop the new user would benefit from waiting for software updates. Attempting to use the software in its current iteration will only cause frustration.

I encourage new users to wait for updates before purchasing. For now, I’m keeping my version and will waste some more time tweaking it. It’s been a slow summer.

photo courtesy Splash Shopper


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