As has been stated a thousand times over, there's an app for practically any purpose you could dream of. Some in particular suffer from a glut of apps, and shopping is one of those. With such a wide array to choose from, sorting out which ones are truly useful can be a special kind of challenge. This is why we've taken a rather picky stance in our CTIA wanderings, but a neat little app called Aisle411 managed to catch my eye.
Aisle411 is a feature-packed and user-friendly app aimed at helping you navigate large retail locations, such as Home Depot and grocery super stores. The app has many functions, but what stands out are its list and location features. So for example, you can create a list of all the items you need at Home Depot and it will map out exactly where the items are at the particular retail space you intend to visit. (For those who've never been to a Home Depot, I can't begin to describe how useful this is.)
As for the data on where items are located within a particular store, Aisle411 acquires this on the backend from the retailers as well as through users' interactions with the app itself. That is, if you arrive at the spot for "double-sided tape" and it now contains something else, you can tap the Edit Location button on the screen.
Of course, this only scratches the surface of the many features offered by the app. You can also use your phone's GPS to find supported stores near you, the built-in mic to speak lists, and the camera to scan barcodes in order to pull up user reviews on specific products. Aisle411 also integrates discounts and coupons for the items on your shopping list. And as with so many apps these days, there's a social element: you can check- in at and earn badges at stores, as well as easily share coupons and discounts via Facebook and Twitter.
Aisle411 comes out next month for iOS, with a mobile Web element for other devices and plans for an Android app in Q1 of 2011. The initial launch will focus on 1,000 retail locations in 17 metro areas, with more to come early next year. Oh, and did I mention it's completely free?