Some of the best iPhone shopping apps can help you save money on the things you buy everyday. Others help you compare prices, find nearby stores, or figure out if a product is a dud. Shopping apps also include a lot of cool technology -- from picture recognition to barcode scanners. Whatever your need, these apps have you covered on your next shopping trip.
You can buy pretty much anything at Amazon.com, and now the Amazon Mobile app (Free) makes it easy to shop right from your iPhone. As the name suggests, the app is a mobile version of Amazon.com and it's just as easy to use as the website itself. The app syncs with the website, so your shopping and wish lists are transferred automatically. The best part? Take a picture of a product with your iPhone's camera and the nifty Amazon Remembers feature will identify that product and find it on Amazon.com. Overall rating: 5 stars out of 5.
If you haven't downloaded Groupon (Free) yet, what are you waiting for? This iPhone shopping app is lots of fun to use and can save you a bunch of money. Groupon uses group purchasing to help users get a price break on everything from teeth whitening to helicopter tours. The app also includes a good number of restaurant deals. It's only available in 70 cities so far, but Groupon is easy to use and you can purchase the deals directly from the app. Overall rating: 5 stars out of 5.
SnapTell (Free) is one of the coolest apps I've tested in long time, and it has become my constant companion at the bookstore. Simply take a picture of any book (or CD, DVD, or video game) and the app will pull up prices, user reviews, and nearby stores. The app works incredibly well, and it recognizes obscure novels as well as bestsellers. The barcode scanner doesn't work quite as well, but the picture functionality is good enough without it. Overall rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
RedLaser (Free) is one of the most popular iPhone shopping apps in the App Store. Its barcode scanner works incredibly well, and it seems less vulnerable to shaky hand movements than other barcode scanners. The search results are well organized and it's easy to compare prices. Another plus is that you'll see both local and online prices. Overall rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
While most iPod shopping apps are designed to help you save money, the GoodGuide app (Free) has a unique goal -- to help you identify products that are good for you and the environment. It includes ratings for more than 65,000 products, and each one is scored on environmental, health, and social criteria. The barcode scanner makes it easy to look up product ratings, although it sometimes struggles with glare. The GoodGuide app is particularly useful for food shopping, since it helps you identify healthier choices. Overall rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Consumer Reports has finally released an iPhone app (US$9.99), which includes most of the organization's excellent product testing. You can browse ratings and Best Buys within several categories, including appliances, electronics, and baby gear. However, the app doesn't include all of the reports you can find at ConsumerReports.org, and it doesn't have any car coverage. Even so, it's worth a download if you need to compare products or view testing details. Overall rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Looking for a deal? The Coupon Sherpa app (Free) compiles Internet coupons from a variety of stores into one convenient location. It doesn't include grocery coupons, but you can find deals on everything from pet food to clothing. The coupons are current and constantly updated, although the app sometimes includes stores that aren't in my area. Since the app is free, it's worth a download to see if it includes stores near you. Overall rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Shop Nearby by TheFind (Free) is a simple iPhone app that locates products at stores near you. Search for a specific product and the app uses the iPhone's built-in GPS to tell you where you can find it in your area. Shop Nearby does a great job of identifying nearby stores, but the product search results are rather unorganized, which makes it hard to compare prices. A barcode scanner would also be nice. Overall rating: 3 stars out of 5.