RECO, Indigo’s New Recommendation App

Indigo, the largest bookstore chain in Canada, launched a recommendation app last week called RECO. Similar to the beloved Goodreads, this new app allows its users to “share, discover, capture and discuss the books you love with friends and trusted experts.” Is it an app worth downloading to your smartphone?

Since Indigo is my favourite book retailer and I love everything that they do, I obviously had to try RECO. After only a week of playing with it, I think I’ve made up my mind whether it’s an app I’ll be keeping on my phone or not.

The Good

First of all, the app looks great. It’s clean and simple. The white background helps highlight the content superbly. The images used are large and of excellent quality. The size of the font and spacing between each line that is slightly wider than in most apps make it easier on the eyes. I really appreciate the amount of white space between the different elements.

A feature that I think is great to have in an app like this one is the “Buy” button. When viewing books, you can simply click on the button at the top and the app will redirect you to Indigo’s webpage to purchase it. There is also a barcode scanner to make searches a lot simpler whether you want to add a book to your reading list or to view it in the app.

You can easily browse the different book categories and genres. When signing up, you are able to personalize your profile as a reader by selecting different criteria according to your personal interests like Fiction, 19th century British Literature, French Cuisine, etc. The app will then be able to suggest you books in line with what you like. I think it’s an essential feature to have with an app aimed at book lovers.

The Bad

Since RECO has been available only for a little over a week, there are not a lot of users to connect with. The app also gives you the option to follow public figures and publishers. Again because the app is so new, there are only a few interesting people to follow.

Compared to Goodreads where it contains a great amount of reviews from other readers, RECO doesn’t seem to have that many. Different editions of the same book are not consolidated and each contains its own reviews. In addition, the app has its own rating system from 0 to 100. I’m not sure how that is determined though the higher the RECO rating, the better the book.

Worth It?

I think it’s a great looking app and I absolutely love that it included the “Buy” button. My only suggestion is to make it possible to pair RECO with Indigo’s actual store app. It would be a lot simpler for current online customers to buy their books directly from the Indigo app rather than being redirected to the website and having to enter their credentials from the small screen of their mobile phone.

As improvement, the book reviews from different editions should be consolidated into one single place, it will be a lot more efficient for readers to get all the different opinions they need before buying the book.

I think RECO is a good addition to have on any bibliophile’s smartphone if you want to connect with others. It’s more of a social app to share your reading list and have discussions about books. I will still predominantly use Goodreads as a reference tool simply because of the extensive amount of reviews. It helps me decide to buy or not to buy a book.

It’s currently available on the AppStore if you want to give it a try. For Android devices, the app will be available later this year.

Make sure to share your experience with the app below in the comment section. Let me know what you liked and didn’t like about the app.

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