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June 2012 Retro Gaming Article


June 8, 2012 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

GameStop's mobile app boasts many features & crams it's brick & mortar into your Android smart phone

When I decided I'd had enough of the limited offerings of Blackberry I had to choose between Apple's iPhone and an Android phone. Gamestop mobile app for Android Smart phones Despite being a long time Apple fanatic, I really wanted a PHONE, but couldn't justify the added cost of putting an "i" in the front of my phone - not to mention the larger screens I found on several Android models.

The BlackBerry was great for email, but the apps available to it were so minimal, it was easy to jump that ship and explore all the utility that smartphone apps are supposed to deliver.

When I received an email from GameStop mentioning a free Android phone and app, I had to take a look. Of course Verizon would happily rape me to the tune of several hundred dollars if I dared stray from their bloated rates and insidious My Verizon Mobile app that wants to monitor my every move while gleefully draining my battery.

GameStop Mobile App Features

The GameStop app is no speed demon - weighing in at 19MB, on my phone. It chugs along however when it fully loads (about 10-12 seconds), there are a lot of features to it. At first launch, you're asked to put in your Power-Up Rewards account info. From here it seems to present you with recommendations - which I hope are truly based on your account history, rather than random titles they are trying to get rid of. Launching the app several times I get the same 3 recommended titles, but they are all Wii titles, so I'm inclined to think there is some relation to my known buying habits.

The first GameStop app screen displays a search bar that seems to accurately return good selections based on a number of searches for existing and upcoming games. Next are 2 bars showing a tally (and access to) messages and In-Store Offers. Below this are the Wants, Haves and Reservations.

Next several rows with box-cover images for Recommended Titles, Best Sellers, Now Shipping and Coming Soon. Clicking the covers brings up a detail screen offering the ability to buy the title, view a video, screen shots and a text description. This info loads quite fast which surprised me considering the lag in the initial launch. Gamestop mobile app screen shots for Android Smart phones Many of the features are tied to having your Big Brother setting on so the app can garner your location. As much as I hate the idea of random strangers knowing where I am, it can be helpful for locating nearby GameStop locations and identifying which store you want to pick up your purchased title from. For store locations, you can also enter a zip code and get a listing of nearby stores - a nice addition!

We also liked the integrated barcode scanner which lets your phone's camera snap a code in order to return info on the title. Additionally, it will tell you which stores have it in stock which seems like a nice feature, but aren't you holding it in your hand when scanning it? OK, I guess you could scan a friend's copy and find out if your local GameStop has it in stock so you can buy it ;)

The buttons across the top of the screen take you to the Home screen, Store Locator, Library of games you've bought (via your Power-Up Rewards card), available Rewards and your account details. There is also a Four-Square-ish check-in feature that lets you rack up some Rewards points just for wandering around your local GameStop.

The GameStop App offers quite a few nice features beyond the typical database dump of info that many apps offer. I've only recently installed the app, but I'm pretty happy with it. It would seem that many of the issues about crashes and phone compatibility have ben addressed in the few months since the app's launch. So far, we're digging it!

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