Smartphone Apps for the Black Friday Field Operative

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Intel at your fingertips

So you've decided to go out shopping on Black Friday. Maybe your spouse put you up to it. Maybe you just really want that new HDTV. Maybe you just love long lines and angry crowds. Whatever your reasons, you are about to embark on a difficult and potentially dangerous mission.

But you don't have to go in blind! We've found a handful of helpful apps that will turn your smartphone into a mobile command center. They're all free, so just download the one that sounds best for you (or all of them) and you're good to go. Armed with these and a tactical turtleneck, no deal will be out of your reach.

BlackFriday.com App

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BlackFriday.com calls itself the official site for all Black Friday 2013 ads, so it's no surprise they have an app. This app gets ads as soon as they break, and it allows you to thumb through full pages of them on your smartphone. While fairly basic, it's enough to find deals and help you plan out which store(s) you want to camp in front of on the big day.

Download: Android or iOS

Dealnews.com's Black Friday App

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DealNews.com is known for finding deals for online retailers, but they also have a special Black Friday App. Aside from getting ads from major retailers, you can also create a shopping list and quickly compare prices for similar products across multiple retailers. Also handy is the ability to pull up maps for nearby store locations and see their Black Friday store hours.

Download: Android or iOS

TheFind.com's Shopping App

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TheFind.com's shopping app is good for streamlining checkout at online retailers, but the on-the-go shopper will also find this handy. You can scan an item's barcode and the app will get the best published price for that item. This is extremely useful if you're trying to demand a price match, or you weren't sure that the $10 toaster you found is the cheapest one out there.

Download: Android or iOS

Amazon PriceCheck

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This one's pretty simple: It's an app that lets you check if the item you're looking at is cheaper on Amazon. Scan a barcode, take a picture, or just type in the name of the item, and you'll get price comparisons to Amazon listings for that item. If you find that the price is way better on Amazon, you can even securely complete an online purchase through the app instead of going home to do it. Might as well do some recon on the food court while you're out there, right?

Download: Android or iOS

BuyVia Shopping App

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BuyVia's app isn't too different from the other deal sites' apps, but it also lets you find and use online and mobile coupons while shopping. It is constantly updating with deals found by BuyVia's experts or from users scanning in barcodes when they spot a deal. You'll get an alert when an item you're looking for goes on sale, and the app will also tell you about nearby local sales when you're out and about.

Download: Android or iOS

Coupon App by Shopular

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The Shopular Coupons app gives you access to in-store mobile coupons, which you redeem right from the phone while you're checking out. The app tracks your location and brings up deals and coupons as soon as you enter a mall, and it covers sales for most of the malls across the US. The coupons and ads are updated daily, including on Black Friday, so you shouldn't have to pay full price for anything.

Download: Android or iOS

Black Friday App by Slickdeals

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A successful Black Friday operation hinges on having good intel, and good intel comes from a good network. Slickdeals is a very popular website for bargain hunters, and its forum is a huge resource for deals people have found. This app has all the info from major retailers' Black Friday ads, and also allows full access to the Slickdeals forum. Other perks include a shopping list that calculates how much you're going to spend, full-size ad scans, and offline support for when you can't get a data connection.

Download: Android or iOS

Windows Phone Apps

There aren't a whole lot of options for Windows Phone users, but we did manage to find a few. ShopSavvy and RedLaser are barcode scanner apps, and while Amazon Mobile isn't as robust as Amazon PriceCheck, you can still use it to look up prices for some quick comparison shopping.


[App screenshots courtesy of Apple App Store / Google Play Store]
[Hero image: Flickr user "tshein"]