ShopRovers is an Android app that claims to "Replace Multiple Online Shopping Apps & Coupons Apps" with a singular piece of software so as to save online shoppers the hassle of having to download a whole bunch of separate apps that not only take up a large amount of storage space on mobile devices, but also adversely affect battery life. The app not only allows users to browse the entire product catalogs of well over a hundred renowned shopping sites, it also claims to provide "Coupons and Deals from all the major stores" so that users do not feel the need to download additional deal aggregator apps.
ShopRovers is completely free to download from the Play Store and I couldn't find any advertising or other annoyances while going through the various options on the app. It's a rather small 2.5 MB APK file, and what's infinitely refreshing is that it doesn't ask for any special permissions before installation.
The app and its rewards are aimed at Indian residents for the most part, although there are no apparent restrictions, geographical or otherwise, on who can download the app. What's more, the app also provides access to a whole host of Indian shopping sites, and the list is exhaustive. Once installed on the phone, the app allows you to surf deals and discounts on various sites based on the category of product you choose, or by the amount of discount available on different sites. Users can also choose to browse the product catalog of individual stores, as is evident from the screenshot below.
The app also acts as a deal aggregator by listing all the important discounts, deals and offers available on the day across different sites, so that users can choose which offer to take advantage of.
The app also offers users the chance to surf literally dozens of shopping sites from right within the app without having to install individual apps on your phones, and in the time I spend with it, I was able to browse an infinite catalog of products on the three largest shopping sites in the country – Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal.
However, the app is far from being a one-trick pony, which means users will also be able to browse products on many other shopping sites, like BabyOye, Shop CJ, Jabong, Myntra, Limeroad, PayTM, Infibeam, Pepperfry, Freecharge, MakeMyTrip, ClearTrip – the list is fairly exhaustive; you name it, and it's all here. Overall, by my count, there are almost 200 Indian e-commerce sites that can be accessed from right within the app, and from whatever time I spend with it, I couldn't really come up with the name of a site that comes to mind easily, but isn't listed.
What's really important is that the ones I tried out also performed pretty well, from what I could see. While the browsing experience is not always as seamless on mobile sites as on native apps, the pros outweigh the cons by my reckoning, especially when one takes into account privacy and convenience. What's also impressive is that the interface is polished and sophisticated, but at the same time, uncluttered and fairly easy to navigate. The translucent background looks pretty cool, although, there's no excessive design flair that would be a drag on the resources, which augers well for those who plan to use the app on inexpensive, entry-level devices.
I browsed television sets and electric shavers on Amazon, mobile phones on Flipkart and soft toys for children on BabyOye, and everything went exactly as expected. No glitches, no hassles and certainly no lag.
- Speed (5/5) – The GUI on the app is smooth, fast and responsive, so there's nothing to complain here.
- Theme (4/5) – The design is clutter-free and the interface is extremely easy to navigate, but you wouldn't call it a visual delight by any stretch.
- Features (5/5) – While you can always add more features and options, that's exactly how software becomes bloated and unresponsive. This app already has an exhaustive set of features that are more than enough for over 99% of shoppers.
- Overall (4.5/5) – I have seldom been as impressed by shopping apps as I have been with this one, given that it values users' privacy, gives us a clutter-free interface and offers a multitude of options, deals and bargains, all in one place for easy comparison. The software also seems to be fairly well-designed and well thought-out, something that I wouldn't have expected from apps in this category.
- Free to Download and install. No advertisements, no 'Freemium' offers. Also, it doesn't ask for any special permissions during installation, so that's a huge positive for privacy-conscious users.
- Lightweight and easy on the device. Just a 2.5 MB download and takes up only about 16.87 MB of internal storage when installed.
- Neat and uncluttered GUI. Absolutely everything works as advertised. Tons of websites and dozens of categories ensure that there are enough options to cover all bases without burdening users with too much.
- Could potentially replace a whole bunch of apps on your device, thereby saving precious storage space, without taking anything away from the shopping experience.
- The interface is more utilitarian than slick eye-candy.
- For smaller e-commerce startups, the shopping experience on mobile sites may not be as slick as on dedicated apps.
All in all, I have no qualms in admitting that this is, by far, one of the more comprehensive and well-designed apps that I've tried in this category, with enough features to keep you engaged, but not too many to drown you in a deluge of options, settings, menus and sub-menus. For anyone who shops on mobile devices, this app is a must-have on your phone. Once you get used to this one, you may even agree that it actually offers you a better overall experience than 'official' shopping apps and specialized deal aggregators, many of which are nothing but glorified bloatware; not to mention, privacy nightmares.