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This week in apps: the best of Black Friday edition

smartphone-shopping-cartIf you plan on hitting the Black Friday sales–on or offline–you need to use every weapon in your arsenal. Come prepared with these (and maybe even last year’s) best shopping apps that minimize the headaches and maximize the savings. 

salelocatorSaleLocator, iOS

If you’re not quite sure where to head for Black Friday sales but now you want to take advantage of the savings, check out SaleLocator. It plots your location and offers a map showing the nearest physical deals, which you can bookmark and grab directions for. You can also search by specific item and find the cheapest, closest option to you.

salelocator screenshot

Cost: Free

redlaserRedLaser, iOS, Android

Many shopping apps have a built-in barcode reader, but RedLaser is perhaps the ultimate. Scan anything and rest assured you’ll have access to thousands of comparisons. You can now purchase directly from the app as well.

Cost: Free

black flydayBlack Flyday, Android

This app pinpoints the community element of Black Friday. While there are plenty of cutthroat shoppers out there, the friendly few that revel in the collective good will should enjoy this app. Black Flyday not only helps you locate discounts based on your location, but it encourages users to “buzz” aka share a deal with others. You can create “team members” for scattered family shopping and buzz them to let them know about bargains you’re tackling.

Cost: Free through Friday, $9.99 after that

thefindTheFind, iOS, Android

Consumers of the online and in-store shopping realms will appreciate how TheFind seamlessly connects these two worlds. You can research on and offline deals via TheFind.com, which we’re big fans of. After all, who wants to stare at an app on their phone for that long? The website merges with the smartphone application and finds you the best deals, offering up directions to the physical locale if needed. It includes a huge host of major retailers, and notifies you of any additional coupon codes should they be available.

Cost: Free

amazonAmazon, iOS, Android

Amazon has become the last word on e-commerce, and we’d advise serious shoppers to download both the Amazon app and its Flow app. Both of these can offer details—including recommendations—about products, and you’re likely to get a thorough idea whether or not you’re overpaying in-store. It’s also a reliable app, which can’t always be said for those that only pop up when the occasion arises, so you know you won’t be subject to crashes and glitches.

Cost: Free (both)

black friday appBlack Friday App, iOS, Android

There are more than a few ways to get your Black Friday news, and the online community is rife with them. One of the most well-known sites is DealNews, which spits out bargains year-round, but hits full tilt for holiday shopping. It’s not the flashiest or most innovative Black Friday solution, but its massive inventory of merchants is really what sets this app apart from the crowd.

Cost: Free

tgi black fridayTGI Black Friday, iOS, Android

If you’re only going to get one Black Friday app, this might be the one. TGI Black Friday keeps track of all the deals at major retailer stores (and pushes notifications when ads are leaked), lets you download PDF ads, create and update your shopping list, and compare prices. Of course it’s an equal opportunity app, so you can also shop online.

Cost: Free

santas bagSanta’s Bag, iOS

Some of you might be hitting up Black Friday sales simply to score a lifetime supple of socks at dirt cheap prices, but many of you are looking to cross items off your gift list. The Santa’s Bag app keeps track of this grueling process, saving your gift receipts, helping you stay on budget, and showing you who you are and aren’t done buying for.

santas bagCost: $1.99

tapbuy dealsTapBuy Deals, iOS

The best thing about TapBuy Deals is its simplicity. While competitors tend to err for an all-inclusive service, this app cuts down on the superfluous tabs and infinite coupon information by separating everything into three easy sections: online deals, local deals, and buy. That’s it. You aren’t pestered by forthcoming alerts or encouraged to make an avatar. You just watch the ticker of Web discounts and check for those around you.

Cost: Free

fastmall iconFastmall, iOS, Android

Let’s face it: malls are confusing, maze-like, traps. And there’s no worse day to get lost in the shuffle than on Black Friday. Fastmall helps you navigate to the necessities, like restrooms, elevators, and your car, which also means you’ll save precious time while you scout the sales. You don’t need Wi-Fi or to use your phone’s GPS either, which is a relief for those stuck in dead zones.

fastmallCost: Free