Amazon's iPhone app lets you do all the things you'd expect it to: searching for products, reading user reviews, comparing prices, track packages, view/cancel orders, and actually purchasing stuff.

But it has what Amazon calls an "experimental" feature that is both fun to use and innovative in a way that could change the way we shop and use our smartphones.

Amazon Remembers

Amazon Remembers allows you to use an iPhone camera - or stored photos on an iPod touch - to create a visual list of things you want to remember while out-and-about.

The photos you take from the app are stored on both the Amazon Mobile app and Amazon's website. If the item you want to remember is a product that Amazon recognizes Amazon Remembers tries to find a product similar to your photo for sale on the web.

Amazon Remembers then sends you an email alert and posts the result along with the photo.

To use Amazon Remembers on an iPhone:
1. Launch the Amazon Mobile application on your iPhone.
2. Tap the Remembers tab at the bottom of the screen.
3. Tap the Take a Photo button on the Amazon Remembers page.
4. When you have the photo you want to use, tap the Use Photo button.

To use Amazon Remembers on an iPod touch:
1. Take a photo and upload it to your iPod touch Photo Album.
2. Launch Amazon Mobile and choose the Remembers tab at the bottom of the screen.
3. Tap on the Photo Album icon at the top of the screen to choose an image.
4. Select a photo and tap the Use Photo button.

After you send the photo, it is stored on your Amazon Remembers list (similar to Amazon's Wish List) in the iPhone app and in your Lists at Amazon.

Amazon says that "for fun, we'll also use a community of real people to find product matches on Amazon".

As soon as Amazon finds a similar item, the results will be associated with the photo in your Amazon Remembers list.

You can then visit Amazon Remembers on your computer, iPod touch, or iPhone and purchase the item in the same way you'd buy an item on your Wish List.

Amazon Remembers 1

Above: this is the first screen you see when clciking on Amazon Remembers.

Amazon Remembers 2

Above: I took this picture of a book (the rather excellent Geek Atlas from O'Reily).

Amazon Remembers 3

Almost immediately Amazon came back with the link to that very same book.

As you'd expect from an "experimental" feature Amazon Remembers isn't always correct.

The screen below shows four searches: The above book example (immediate find, correct), some Mac virtulisation software (took a few minutes but also correct), a Bon Iver EP on CD (quick but shows up the vinyl version for no good reason), and finally an HP laser printer (took a while to come back with details of a similar HP laser).

Amazon Remembers 6

To give Amazon Remembers its dues the HP laser had been discontinued so its find of a similar product isn't really a fail. The HP Colour LaserJet CP2025n it found looks quite different to the HP Colour LaserJet 2600n I took the picture of so to present a result so close is impressive.

Amazon Remembers is fun to use, and this style of product recognition is surely going to be a big part of the way we shop in the near future.


Amazon Mobile for iPhone does exactly what you'd expect it to, and the addition of Amazon remembers even makes it fun to use. Amazon remembers isn't always correct but it's guesses are good enough most of the time.