Black Friday is rapidly approaching and we all know that means people are going to be hitting the stores both online and at brick-and-mortar locations to grab gifts for friends and family. But if you want to find the best deals, you're going to need a little help, and I have just the right apps for the job on iOS devices.
Whether you plan to brave the crowds on Black Friday or stay home and shop online, these apps will get you the best deals and hopefully make your gift shopping a little easier.
Editors' note: For Android shopping apps, check out .
Black Friday Survival Guide
This simple app shows you the latest deals from major stores so you can map out your shopping attack plan. Rather than flipping through circulars, this app has all the deals listed out for you, and you can save the best deals to a favorites list so you can refer back to it when you're out in the trenches on Black Friday.
The app has just four buttons across the bottom for navigation. The News button gives you up-to-the-minute deal announcements. The Stores button lists out all the stores with deals, and touching a store breaks down the discounted items into Doorbusters (deals that people will physically line up for) and online (deals you can get simply by shopping at the store's Web site). A Categories button breaks down the deals into common categories -- great if you know the item you want and don't want to sift through all the deals. Finally, a Shopping List button shows your favorite deals you have already selected, so you can use this list as your main page if you decide to hit the stores.
Black Friday Survival Guide doesn't have a lot of fancy features, but it's got just the info you need to get the best deals during the mad rush on Black Friday.
The online store that got famous for shoes (and fantastic service) is not just for shoes anymore. So if you want to avoid the crowds and inevitable traffic, Zappos has one of the most intuitive shopping apps available.
The easy-to-understand interface lets you drill down through categories, like shoes, clothing, housewares and more. Then you can swipe to scroll through items to narrow your search.
When you touch an item, you get a product page where you can choose colors and sizes, read the details, and read reviews. But the best part is the way Zappos handles previewing the item, with a swipeable image at the top that shows all sides of the product to help you decide if you want it.
Once you find something you like, you can add it to your shopping cart to buy the item from within the app right away or continue shopping before you pay the final bill.
Zappos is one of the best shopping apps I've seen, and with plenty of items from several categories along with the ability to buy gift cards, it will make for a great way to do your shopping without ever leaving your house.
Though there are many bar code scanners in the App Store, Shop Savvy offers fast scanning and unique added features to make it a handy shopping companion on Black Friday. Shop Savvy lets you use your iPhone camera to "scan" a bar code, then view the item and prices from various locations, and you can scan QR codes at the touch of a button. The interface is set up to be as simple as possible, but it offers nice touches such as the ability to initiate a scan by swiping upward on the product display screen.
After a bar code scan, you're presented with an image of the item and given places to shop for it online or at nearby stores (Shop Savvy uses your GPS location), online reviews of the product, and the ability to share your findings via e-mail, Twitter, or Facebook. You also can categorize your items in lists that are neatly arranged in folders you create.
If you just want to see the latest deals, you have the option to hit the Deals tab to check stores and categories of items.
If you're out on Black Friday making a big purchase and want a way to quickly check prices in other locations, Shop Savvy is a great thing to have as a shopping companion.
Grab Shop Savvy for Android.