We've been known to read a good Bergdorf or West Elm catalog cover to cover, in one sitting and definitely before opening any of our other mail. Still, in the age of e-commerce, print catalogs can feel a tad antiquated, not to mention un-green.
That's why we're so excited about Google Catalogs, which digitizes and improves upon the process.
Google's just-launched, free iPad app (Android compatibility coming soon) lets you subscribe to paperless versions of many big-name catalogs--L.L. Bean, Design Within Reach and Brooks Brothers, to name a few--and browse as you would the "real" thing. Flip from page to page, and when you see a product you like, tap it for prices, links to buy and local stores that carry it. Alternately, you can save items (or even whole pages) to your "favorites" tab for easy retrieval later or to create a personalized look book.
The coolest feature, however, may be the ability to search across catalogs. Say you're looking to beef up your denim collection. Type "jean jacket" into the search bar and get instant links to products across current catalog offerings.
Such search-and-find functionality is hardly surprising. This is Google, after all.