Grocery shopping apps review 2012

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Grocery shopping is the bane of some people’s week. Walking through the aisles wondering where an item is, whether or not it’s a good deal and then getting home to find out you forgot an item or your spouse couldn’t get hold of you to pick up that extra gallon of milk.Here are four shopping list apps built to make your next trip to the grocery store easier. Let’s see how much they lighten the load.First, this app is not about pie. It is, in fact, a shopping list app. At $2.99 this app is nice, but I was hoping it would provide more than it does. The strengths of this app are the ability to share lists with other users through the cloud (syncing your account), or sending it via text or e-mail.Creating lists are very simple, just type a list title and adding items from a list of pre-populated grocery items. If you don’t find the item you’re looking for you can add it manually and it will be available for future reference. It will also suggest items as you’re typing them to make input easier. For manual entry this is the best of the bunch next to Grocery IQ (see below). Plus, items are color-coded to help sort like-items, such as fruits and vegetables.All of this adds up to a nice app for creating shopping lists, but nothing extraordinary. There are no pictures, no information on ingredients, no comparison of like-ingredients or many other features we have seen in other apps. Saying that, there’s something to be said for simplicity, stability and ease of sharing.There are two versions of this app, a free version and paid version ($2.99), which offers more robust features such as cloud syncing like Buy Me a Pie!

On first glance, this app looks great. It offers bright colors, a clean layout and ready-to-go categories that are color-coded to make organization easy. Then I began to use the app. It was, unfortunately, very clunky to input new items and create lists. It also didn’t include the pre-loaded ingredients, which would make the process quicker and easier.This app is basically a digital piece of paper to put your grocery items on. The free version doesn’t even allow users to share a list, even via e-mail. A simple hack would be to take a snapshot of your shopping list screen and send it, but with this app why bother.For example, you can add items using text, scanning a barcode, or with your voice. When adding items via voice, you can speak a single item or a list of items. Brand names are also recognized and I’d recommend using them since you can get their coupons. You can sync and share your lists with others, and because it’s from Coupons.com, it will show related coupons for the items you add to your list. These coupons can then be printed or e-mailed.

In addition, the app uses the phone’s GPS to locate stores in your area, displays images of select items, organizes items by category, provides alternatives that are on sale and shows a savings amount when coupons are available. The only knock I have with this app is that the food categories are not color-coded so I can easily lump ingredients together.It seems each of these apps has a function or two that separates it from the one next to it. For this app, it’s the reminder feature. This lets you set an alarm so that you won’t forget to grab that loaf of bread and milk on the way home from work. Then again, since this is an iPhone app, you could simply tell Siri to remind you when you leave work.In terms of how this functions as a shopping list creator, it struggles in the same way that the Shopping List Free app did. It doesn’t have ingredients preloaded, it doesn’t color-code items, it doesn’t even organize similar items. It’s a manual list that you’re responsible for creating. One nice feature of this app is it allows you to include price and adjust the tax rate so you can have a budget before you step into the store. Saying that, you’ll be much happier with Grocery IQ or Grocery List – Buy Me a Pie!

Nobody likes grocery shopping. At least nobody that I know does. One of the things that I can’t stand with grocery shopping is compiling a list of what I need to purchase and then updating that list during my shopping trip. The grocery list has long been a pen-and-paper experience for many shoppers, but as a geek, I knew there had to be a way to utilize my smartphone to help me out with my grocery shopping trips. Even better, it would be great if my wife and I could coordinate household shopping lists through our smartphones, so that we don’t inadvertently purchase the same thing twice or not pick up something that we need if we aren’t together.Enter Grocery iQ. I’ve searched for an easy-to-use grocery list solution for a long time, and I really think Grocery iQ has it down. There are plenty of apps that let you create lists and share them with others, but instead of being a to-do list app, Grocery iQ is designed to just be a grocery list manager, and it offers a lot of features to make your life easier when shopping.Grocery iQ starts being helpful as soon as you need to add items to your list. Items can be added to a list by typing, which will prompt Grocery iQ to suggest items as you type, scanning barcodes, or even by voice. Grocery iQ has a database of millions of items, so it is rare that it doesn’t already have the item that you are trying to add. You can view the details of an item on the list to change quantities, add a description, add a price, or even assign a department so can locate it in the store. I find that Grocery iQ makes it very easy to add items to the list during the week as I notice they need to be purchased. Then, when it’s time to go grocery shopping, my list is ready to go. It is possible to also create multiple lists for various needs, so you can have a list for standard groceries, or other special projects.

Grocery iQ also features powerful syncing features. You can access and even update the same list from either the web at groceryiq.com, the iPhone app, the iPad app, or the Android app. Additionally, it is possible to share lists with other users, so one household can maintain the same list across all of their devices. My wife can add and delete items from the list on her phone, and I will see the updated list the next time I open the app on my phone. Should something need to be added to the list after I have already left to go shopping, my wife can add it from home and I will see it when I get to the store. The syncing features might be my favorite part of Grocery iQ, and it works as seamlessly as you would expect. The app even supports optional push notifications for when another user updates the list, so you know when you need to check the list for new items.

In addition to the powerful list management and syncing features, Grocery iQ also has a coupons section that offers coupons on various items in the grocery store. Powered by Coupons.com, Grocery iQ’s coupon section has hundreds of coupons to choose from and is updated frequently. Clicking a coupon gives users the option to send it to a Wi-Fi-enabled HP printer or an email address to print it out. Grocery iQ also alerts you about relevant coupons for items currently on your list. I do wish that it was possible to have the coupons display as a barcode on the phone’s screen, so they would not need to be printed out. Chances are that my local grocery store wouldn’t accept barcodes anyways, so that is probably just a pipe dream for now.There is also a section of the app that displays nearby grocery, food, and drug stores based on the phone’s current location. A tap on a listed location brings up a map and a phone number so you can easily call the place of business.

Given all of its features, it’s easy to see why Grocery iQ is my grocery list management app of choice. There are versions of the app available for the iPhone, iPad, and Android smartphones and tablets, so users on different platforms can easily share the same list. Hopefully, support for other platforms like Windows Phone or perhaps even BlackBerry will be added in the future. Grocery iQ is free and can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store or the Google Play Store (phone/tablet) now.

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