ShopSavvy is one of the most polished shopping apps we came across, and it's available for both iOS and Android. Scan any bar code and find online stores and nearby retailers selling any particular product, along with competing prices from all locations.
ShopSavvy can calculate the location of the nearest retailers carrying a desired item and provide maps and directions. It can also tell you whether the product is actually in stock at a given location. Additionally, there's a Deals feature that offers up shipping promos, coupon codes, rebates, and weekend sales.
TheFind for Android lets you search for a particular item at a given price and then populates a list of competing prices from other vendors. It also has an integrated bar code scanner let's you scan a desired product to receive pricing from a variety of retailers. (You can also enter a UPC manually.)
TheFind uses location-based services to help you find the nearest retailer selling the product, and it provides a list of online sellers as well. You can also get maps to the locations selling a desired product as well as access to coupon codes and shipping deals.
TheFind recently updated and merged its various apps for the iOS so now a single app will provide all this functionality for the iPhone as well. The interface is largely the same.
Of course, some of the best deals to be had are on eBay, and if your loved ones appreciate vintage and one-of-a-kind items, it's a good place to start. The auction giant provides apps for both iOS and Android, though the former was updated recently to offer the added bonus of an integrated bar code scanner for comparison shopping.
For buyers, the apps also offer a way to access saved searches as well as reminders and push alerts to keep you on top of any auctions.
Barcode Hero is an iOS app that lets you use the camera of the iPhone or iPod Touch to scan the bar codes of products that you see on store shelves. It then provides instant recommendations, product details, and price comparisons from a variety of online and brick-and-mortar retailers.
In addition to the scanning functionality, you can browse and search for products by category, share items with friends or family to get real-time feedback, and share wish lists. You can also save items as a reminder to purchase at a later time.
Rather than focusing on just any old gifts, Giftmeister aims to help people find, purchase, and give tech products. The service offers a catalog of more than 225,000 gadgets, with live pricing from both online and brick-and-mortar retailers, such as Best Buy and Target.
The app, which is currently available only for iOS, includes a gift finder carousel, which is a tool that lets you select a gender, price range, and persona and then provides a variety of gift-worthy gadgets. There's also location-based functionality that can provide users with directions to nearby stores.
If you want to take the stress out of shopping for the handymen (or -women) in your life, Aisle411 is a great place to start. This feature-packed and easy-to-use app is designed to help you navigate large retail locations, such as Home Depot and Lowe's.
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 location you intend to visit.
Aisle411 is free and currently available for iOS only, with an Android-friendly version expected in the next couple months. (Unfortunately, the latter is not likely to make it out in time for the holiday shopping season.)
Google Shopper for Android is a competitor to the new Amazon Price Check for iOS. It lets you search for products by text, voice, barcode, or even a photo of a book cover or packaging. You can view detailed information, compare prices, find local retailers, and save your favorite items.
Pickings are a little slimmer when it comes to BlackBerry apps, but the OS isn't completely bereft of shopping tools. One of the better ones is Frugalytics, which lets users search among millions of products to compare prices, read descriptions, and view product reviews and ratings. It also offers a Deal of the Day feature for bargain hunters.
Caripromo is another interesting BlackBerry shopping app that seems to be particularly international in its offerings. It not only provides coupon codes and deals for electronics and other tangible products, but also provides a wealth of information on restaurant and travel discounts.