As someone who finds the effort of shopping at the mall comparable to the Black Pearl’s search for the Isla de Muerta, FastMall is for me what that magic compass was to Captain Jack Sparrow. This nifty little app has plenty of features designed to streamline your mall-going experience. It displays the malls in your area, as well as pertinent information like their hours of operation, address and phone number. It also contains information about the stores within the mall, as well as some of their current deals. You can search for malls by name or location and you also have the ability to add malls to your ‘Favorites’ list. Since I can’t even count the number of times I’ve wandered up and down a parking structure hoping to hear the sweet honkhonk of my car alarm, I found the “Where did I Park?” feature to be a particularly nice touch. It uses a GPS stamp for your location as well as allowing you to voice record whatever you need to remember where you put your car. FastMall even has a three category “My Lists” section which you may find useful whether you’re shopping for a purpose (Things to Buy list), just a window-shopper (My Wishlist) or even if you hate the mall (Things I Hate list).
The developers at Mindsmack were definitely thorough in designing FastMall. The layout is quite easy to navigate through and you may recognize design elements similar to the iPhone’s main screen as well as the Facebook app. There is an in-app FAQ as well as video demonstrations to walk you through each of the features.
You do have to register for FastMall the first time you run the app, but it’s a really simple form that takes less than a minute to fill out.
Though FastMall is free to download, each mall’s virtual map and restroom locator, arguably two of the app’s best features, have to be bought with prices ranging from $0.99-$2.99. Though some have expressed dissatisfaction over this, the prices of the maps fall well within the normal range of other apps in the App Store. While it’d be fantastic if all these features came free, I figure buying a map from them would be the same as, if not better than, purchasing an app with similar features released by one specific mall. The virtual maps have turn-by-turn guidance to get you from store to store as well as the option of routing a path without stairs/escalators (great for people with strollers or wheelchairs and elevator enthusiasts). With features like that and the shake to locate the nearest restroom, you’d definitely get your money’s worth if you do decide to buy them.
As of this posting, there are still a few kinks that need to be smoothed out, such as a bug with the ‘My Lists’ feature that causes the app to crash or the fact that not all malls listed have a virtual map, however, these things are being actively worked on and the availability of support for the app is nothing short of stellar. The diligent team over at Mindsmack respond promptly to support issues and are continually working to fix and improve their brainchild.
FastMall is a solidly built application with features that almost any mall-goer is sure to find useful.
Here is a video demo of the FastMall app on the iPhone
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