Holiday Shopping? There’s An App For That!


While millions of people will be making their purchases at their computers, from the comfort of their homes, more and more people are doing their online shopping directly from their smartphones and tablets.

As December begins, and we gaze at the list of gifts we still need to acquire, let’s take a look at a few apps that can help make holiday shopping a little easier and less time-consuming.

iPresents — A user-friendly and intuitive interface starts you off with a countdown to Christmas, total people on your list, total number of presents, your budget, and how much you’ve spent. Where it really shines though is in its ability to help you shop online. Integration with Google and a number of top online retailers enables you to shop from anywhere.

No More Socks — A more refined app than iPresents is the delightfully named “No More Socks.” Online shopping is integrated and allows you to add multiple retailers, on and offline, to each entry so that you can comparison-shop. The real standout is that you can add people to your gift lists directly from your iPhone contacts. I’m also a fan of the fact that you can password-protect your shopping — always a good idea.

Gift Plan — This app aims for year-round usability rather than a focus on winter holidays. It allows you to synch with your friends list on Facebook and your iPhone contact lists, adding their birthdays and photos all at once. (You can also select to only synch certain entries if you like.) This is the only app I’ve found so far that synchs with both.

Santa’s Bag — Simplicity is a priority for some, and Santa’s Bag offers that. The opening screen is a big countdown to Christmas along with a summary of how much money you have left in your budget and how many gifts still need to be acquired. It lacks the ability to shop online from within the app, but does offer good organization for offline shopping.

The Christmas List — Another app that offers the privacy of password protection. It’ also the only one that allows sharing of your lists through Facebook (best hope the recipients aren’t on your friends list) or through email. While it doesn’t offer an option for entering your budget, it does show a running total of what you’ve spent.

Shopycat — This app is only available on the desktop version of Facebook, but it’s quite sophisticated. Shopycat uses the social signals generated by your Facebook friends to provide gift recommendations. While Walmart produced the app, it also ties in to Barnes & Noble, RedEnvelope, and ThinkGeek, among others, providing a large array of options. Of course, it also shows which items are in stock at local Walmart stores. There are rumblings of a mobile version, but no word on when we might see it.

Hopefully these gift-giving apps will help you stay organized, within your budget, and leave you with some much-needed time to relax and enjoy the season!

George Williams is a professional blogger who covers technology, social media, and computers for seniors for firstSTREET Online. Check out the firstSTREET catalog for innovative and unique gifts this holiday season!

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