This mall navigation app for shopping malls across the country lets you easily locate your favorite stores (and the bathroom) in any mall.
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Shopping malls are chaotic enough—die-hard bargain hunters race for the best deals, there’s unavoidably someone who bumps you with their stuffed shopping bag, and long lines at the cash registers are inevitable. In a scene like that, you don’t want to be lost in a mall you may be unfamiliar with on top of everything else. FastMall is a navigation app for malls across the country, providing maps of more than 1,250 mall locations.
Once you choose your mall (select from a list, or the app will determine the closest mall to you using GPS), the app provides a floor plan of each level. Choose Scope Mode, and the app drops markers on every store and restaurant in the mall. As you drag your screen around to view different areas of the mall, the markers continue to accumulate. If you’re not finding the store you’re looking for, type the store’s name into the search tab, and the app will home in on the store’s placement within the floor plan. The search tab also houses a drop-down list of all the stores in the given mall. No more standing dumbly at the mall map and squinting at the tiny listings.
Once you choose a store or other location, click “Take me there” for in-mall directions to the store, such as “Walk straight until you see Abercrombie & Fitch and turn to your right.” The directions end with a friendly destination message, like “Enjoy. You have reached Foot Locker.”
When you’re on a location detail page, you can click “Show more information,” and the shopping app will provide a brief description of the store along with its phone number. With just a tap, you’re soon dialing Aldo to hold the last pair of pumps in your size.
One feature we don’t like is the format of the master mall list. Instead of being grouped into alphabetical letters, it forces you to scroll your way through the lonnnnng list of national shopping malls. It’s a minor complaint, but the mall search sure could be easier. Probably our favorite feature: Shake your phone, and the app locates the nearest rest rooms, for a crucial pit stop during a long day of swiping plastic. The app also lets you check into a store, making for a social shopping experience.
We don’t know if many people will think to download this free app when they go shopping, and they might prefer just to look at the mall directory that they’re used to. But if you’re visiting a new mall, FastMall is worth a download.
Check out this mall maps app in a scenario about shopping apps for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Reviewed: Nov 23, 2011 | Mary Georger