Find local deals with 8coupons for iOS

Talk about one-stop shopping. This free app serves up local coupons from thousands of sources, including Groupon and Restaurant.com.

The free 8coupons app will find all kinds of deals in your area. The only problem is if they have to be printed.
The free 8coupons app will find all kinds of deals in your area. The only problem is if they have to be printed. Screenshot by Rick Broida

Oh, 8coupons, where were you last night when I stopped for dinner at Ruby Tuesday? With about three taps of my iPhone's screen, I could have saved 15 percent on my entire bill!

I won't make that mistake again. This new app serves up local deals from thousands of sources, showing them on a map or in a big searchable list. For serious bargain-hunters, it's an essential mobile companion.

But an imperfect one. For starters, you're limited to deals in your immediate area--unless you manually scroll the map to another location. There's no way to load up the deals for someplace you might be heading, which would be helpful for, say, determining ahead of time where you want to have dinner.

What's more, many of the deals I found required printed coupons, and the app offers no means for printing them. Indeed, in many cases 8coupons merely routes you to a Web page listing the deal, one that's not formatted for mobile viewing--and certainly not for mobile printing. That's a pretty major limitation.

Even so, it's hard to argue with a free app that puts pretty much every local deal in existence right at your fingertips. There's even an augmented-reality (AR) view for those who want a sort of heads-up deal display (HUDD).

8coupons also lets you share deals you discover at local businesses. You can snap a picture (like if there's a today-only flier posted) and enter the details. That way, others in your area will be able to take advantage.

I wasn't kidding about that Ruby Tuesday thing. 8coupons just showed me a 15-percent-off coupon that doesn't require printing: you just flash the onscreen coupon at your server. Needless to say, I'll be firing up this app every time I go out to eat, to a mall, or pretty much anywhere. It may not always pay off, but I'm sure it will sometimes.

 

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