Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
App review: eBay for iOS
The eBay app allows you to hunt for bargains while you're on the move
- Full website experience in app
- Simple and clear UI
- Barcode scanner doesn’t always work
- No account management capability
While it has minor flaws, the eBay app will give busy users control of their actions through a well-designed app. This can be particularly useful when running around retail stores as a price-comparison tool.
EBay’s iOS app uses a centralised and clear user interface to bring the website’s functionality to a smartphone. The design is simple and the layout is easy to understand. Features can easily be noticed and the most frequently used elements are positioned on the home screen. There is room for a few minor tweaks though, in terms of managing an account and the barcode reader.
The eBay app's home page is where you will spend most your time. The page features everything required to monitor purchases and sales, alongside messages, reminders, saved items, and, of course, the search bar. Towards the bottom you will find a special deals tab, recently purchased items, and a link to your account’s feedback page.
The search tab of the app is self-explanatory, and also contains recent and saved searches. The sell page is also self-explanatory.
The 'My eBay' feature provides a list of active and ended items that you are watching, buying, or selling, depending on the active option.
The settings page offers basic housekeeping options, including notifications, PayPal login, and a contact page. The ‘Show Help Menus’ button at the bottom of this tab does not seem to do anything; once tapped, it turns blue for a moment, then goes back to normal. EBay does not allow you to edit your actual account; to make any changes to your account, you will need to fire up the desktop website.
A great feature of eBay is the barcode scanner located beside every search bar within the app. It uses the smartphone’s camera to snap a product’s barcode or QR code, and searches for the product automatically. Unfortunately, the feature seems to either return no results or it finds matches very slowly.
Requirements: iOS 4.2+
Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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