Some people are just impossible to shop for, am I right? You always end up directly asking them what they want — or at least wishing you could.
Fontain is an app designed to remove this kind of stress from the equation of shopping for others, plus notify your friends and family members what it is you’re lusting after, too. The app will remind you of upcoming gift-giving dates, inform you when your friends or family receive gifts (no embarrassing duplicates!) and more. Click through to take a look.
First you’ll need to register or sign in to your Fontain account, which is free. You are also given the option of allowing the app to access your Twitter and Facebook accounts.
When you enter the app, you land on the Feed page. Scroll through it to see what other users are wishing for. Each image has a green plus sign icon in the lower right — tap it to like it and/or add the item to your own wish list. In the top left of each image you can see how many comments and likes the item has received, as well as how many times it’s been added to a user’s wish list.
The tabs along the bottom are, from left, Feed, Explore, Camera, Profile and Settings. These tabs, as well as the Feed header, disappear as you start to scroll, providing a better viewing experience. Start scrolling upward and the tabs and header conveniently return.
Another cool thing that appears while you scroll is a shaded flag on the righthand side. Fluid, it displays the timestamp for items in your Feed, letting you know exactly when they were added to a user’s wish list as you go backward in time.
Tap on any image to learn more about it, including where to buy the product, as well as recommend it via email, Twitter or Facebook.
The Explore tab lets you look at many items at once, separating cool finds into Curated and Occasions categories. While the Curated section displays a grid of popular selections, the Occasions category is broken down further into important milestones and holidays (Anniversary, Birthday, Bridesmaids, Cheer Up, Congratulations, Love, New Baby, New Job, Thank You, Valentine’s Day, Wedding and many others). The Occasions category draws the focus back to giving and receiving gifts — something that distinguishes Fontain from the many other product-curation-focused apps.
Of course, one of the most obvious (and fun!) ways to explore all the goodies is to see what other users are wishing for. But whom to follow? You can find suggested users by navigating to either the Feed or Profile pages, then tapping the people icon in the top right. In addition to viewing suggested Fontain users, you can also find and invite your contacts from Facebook, Twitter and address book.
Click on any user’s profile to view his or her wishes and gifts, and follow or unfollow that user. If you’re shopping for a gift for this user, you can tap on any one of the wishes on the person’s list. You’ll be shown the item’s price and where to buy it, plus in most cases you can purchase the item directly through the app.
Wishes and Gifts
I know what you’re thinking: “Forget shopping for other people right now, look at all this cool stuff that I want!” To add your own wishes and gifts, navigate to the Camera tab. Here you can take a photo or select one from your library.
Choose either “I’ve got this” or “I wish this.” When entering wishes, you’ll also be able to supply the name of your wish, a location (to let others know where to buy it) and the category. Of course, you can edit these details at any time after you’ve posted the wish.
Then you can share your wish on Twitter and/or Facebook as soon as you click “I wish this” and make it official. Now just sit back, relax, and hope your family and friends come through for you. (And for your sake, I hope they do!)
If you’ve received a sweet gift that you want to share with the Fontain community, tap “I’ve got this” instead after making your photo selection. You’ll be asked to enter the gift name, occasion, the name of the giver, location and category. Again, you can share your post via Twitter and/or Facebook.
At present, it would seem like there are an awful lot of users Fontain has manufactured in order to make the app look busier, but this will likely be remedied once more people have caught on to how awesome and handy the app is.
That said, this app is only as cool as the people who use it, and if no one you know is using it, it doesn’t fulfill the intended purpose. So step one would be to get your significant other, siblings and friends and family members on board. This will greatly ease the coordination of shopping around birthdays, anniversaries and major holidays.
On the other hand, if you’re more interested in using the app to curate cool gifts for yourself, then I’d say you’re already set. Just remember to share your finds with the rest of us!