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All Things Appy: Top 5 Android Shopping Tools

All Things Appy: Top 5 Android Shopping Tools

Scan barcodes from your groceries and pantry items. Fivefly's Shopping List app then provides a master list with check boxes, and you simply check a box when you've replenished supplies. Simple. TechNewsWorld thinks this checkmark system is superior to apps that make you scan or enter the product label text each time.

By Patrick Nelson TechNewsWorld ECT News Network
12/01/12 5:00 AM PT

Welcome to All Things Appy -- TechNewsWorld's analysis of the best apps proliferating on our devices today.

zxing screen shot

Indicative of the superiority of portable geo-friendly apps over Web search and Web browsing is the Shopping genre.

Here are TechNewsWorld's suggestions for the top five store-agnostic free killer tools on the Android platform.

About the Platform

Google's Android OS is a mobile environment geared toward multitouch. Apps can be downloaded from the Google Play store.

From the device's app drawer, click on the Play icon. Then perform a search for the desired app.

No. 1: Barcode Scanner

zxing

The Zxing Team's Barcode Scanner boasts 50,000,000 to 100,000,000 installs, according to Google Play. It has an average rating of 4.2 out of a possible five from 305,129 reviewers.

Keep things simple with Barcode Scanner.

Scan the product barcode wandering the aisles and read up on the product via a Google Web search or Google's shopping Web pages.

That's it.

It's super useful when showrooming, in-store browsing, price-matching, or looking for independent reviews and specifications.

Barcode Scanner is No. 1 on our list because it's the fastest way to gather product intelligence, and it provides something previously unattainable.

No. 2: Shopping List

fivefly

Shopping List from Fivefly is a shopping list manager with 500,000 to 1,000,000 installs, according to the Google Play store. It has a 4.3 average rating out of a possible five from 7,448 reviewers.

Scan barcodes from your groceries and pantry items. Fivefly's Shopping List app then provides a master list with check boxes, and you simply check a box when you've replenished supplies. Simple.

TechNewsWorld thinks this checkmark system is superior to shopping list apps that make you scan or enter the product label text each time.

Shopping List also features sharing and syncing, so family members don't duplicate purchases.

It's No. 2 on our list because it provides syncing and paperless efficiency.

No. 3: Coupons & Shopping -- GeoQponsShopping List

geoqpons

Coupons & Shopping -- GeoQpons is a coupon aggregator from publisher Most Useful Shopping App with 1,000,000 to 5,000,000 installs, according to the Google Play store. It has an average 4.4 rating out of a possible five from 6,655 reviewers.

GeoQpons is a highly comprehensive selection of retail and restaurant coupon links, as well as weekend newspaper-style specials ads. Don't go pounding the sidewalk locally without checking this app.

It contains many of the classic ads and coupons that clutter up our snail mail boxes and newspapers -- but with the advantage of app-driven favorite store alerts, search and geo-functions.

It's No. 3 on our list because this app saves you cash. However, be aware that some of the ads may need printing out.

No. 4: ShopSavvy Barcode Scanner

ShopSavvy Barcode Scanner from publisher ShopSavvy boasts 10,000,000 to 50,000,000 installs according to Google Play. It has an average rating of 4.2 out of a possible five from 89,590 reviewers.

This app provides super-fast scanning of product barcodes with instant online prices. It's not so great on local store price comparisons, but it's a superior barcode look-up nonetheless.

It earned a runner-up position, because unlike Barcode Scanner, its product descriptions and specifications are poor.

No. 5: GasBuddy - Find Cheap Gas

GasBuddy - Find Cheap Gas from GasBuddy boasts 10,000,000 to 50,000,000 installs and has an average rating of 4.6 from 387,245 reviewers.

With gas prices varying wildly, even around the block, GasBuddy provides geo-tagged gasoline prices graphically represented on a map.

Press one button and the app shows you the nearest gas prices. Sort by price and you can save money by picking the nearest cheap gas. It's crowd-sourced data and a killer app for traveling.

It's a runner-up because TechNewsWorld thinks cheapskates already know where their local discounted gas stations are.


Patrick Nelson has been a professional writer since 1992. He was editor and publisher of the music industry trade publication Producer Report and has written for a number of technology blogs. Nelson studied design at Hornsey Art School and wrote the cult-classic novel Sprawlism. His introduction to technology was as a nomadic talent scout in the eighties, where regular scrabbling around under hotel room beds was necessary to connect modems with alligator clips to hotel telephone wiring to get a fax out. He tasted down and dirty technology, and never looked back.


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