- Phone numbers and maps for nearby stores
- Search results are cluttered
- Few features
Are you sick of driving to several different stores to locate a hard-to-find item? The Shop Nearby app (Free), by TheFind, offers an easier way by locating products at nearby stores. The app isn't perfect, but it does a better job than some of its competitors.
Accurate store listings but cluttered results
Shop Nearby by TheFind is very simple to use -- just type the product name into the search bar and the app will find it at stores near you using the iPhone’s GPS. After searching, you’ll see prices and stores in your area. I first used the app to see where I could buy the iPod touch in my area. The app told me it was available at Wal-Mart, Best Buy, RadioShack, etc., and a helpful ‘sale’ icon next to Wal-Mart’s listing alerted me to a deal.
However, the search results could be better organized. As I found with the Shopping.com app, listings for the fourth-generation iPod touch were intermixed with iPod nanos and earlier models of the touch. There were also some accessories like iPod touch cases thrown in for good measure. Some users may like seeing earlier generations or iPod accessories in their search results, but I’m not one of them -- the results look too cluttered, which makes it difficult to compare prices.
Once you find a product, the detail page includes the store address and a phone number that you can call right from the app. Maps are also available, which are useful if you're shopping away from home. You can also use TheFind to compare prices online under the ‘Web Items’ tab. The search results still suffer from the same organizational problems, but here’s a tip: make your search term as specific as possible to cut out some of the clutter.
The Bottom Line
Shop Nearby by TheFind is a good effort, but it's not completely successful. Although it does a better job of comparing prices and identifying nearby stores than the Shopping.com app, the search results are still a little disorganized for my taste. I would also like to see more features, including the ability to save favorite items or set up price alerts. I guess I can’t be too choosy with a free app, but TheFind still needs some improvements. Overall rating: 3 stars out of 5.
What You’ll Need