Rating: Most are free and run only on iOS and Android
Given that the research for what is being billed as ‘The Top 500 apps in the World’ has been carried out by no fewer than 15 journalists, GoMo News was fascinated to see what they thought were the best shopping apps. After all, out of all the UK’s industries, the retail sector has probably shown the greatest enthusiasm for creating branded apps. Although the Sunday Times team doesn’t actually spell it out in a panel, we assume the one app with the star in it is the winner of the section. So in the ‘Shopping’ category – Amazon Mobile – appears to be the winner. It’s interesting because the app only runs on Android and iPhone smartphones. This seems to fit with the general industry attitude that if you’ve got both Android and iOS covered then that’s good enough. The fact that Symbian and BlackBerry phones are used for shopping in the UK too is generally ignored.This weekend [Sunday 22nd January 2012] was actually the second year that the Sunday Times has released a Top 500 apps list. So apps which got an honourable mention in the first list are awarded a ‘classic’ billing.
One of the two classic apps in the Shopping sector has been given to Ebay’s mobile app which runs on a much bigger selection of smartphones. It covers Windows Phone 7 (great if you’re a W7 Mango fan) as well as BlackBerry.
Significantly, the first app which isn’t associated with a big brand is Pricerunner which only works on iOS and Android but has been given a Classic rating as well.
The Sunday Times describes Pricerunner as, “A brilliantly simple and fast price-comparison app, now with a barcode scanner so you can compare prices quickly while you’re in a shop.”
Curious because GoMo News would have thought that a barcode scanning capability was essential not just an added bonus as the Sunday Times team imply. Oh, well.
The other Shopping apps that made it into the Top 500 included Snaptell, Shop Savvy, Google Shopper, and UPC Price Check.
UPC Price Check made it because it does work on BlackBerry (and nothing else actually). It is criticised for only covering deals for online shopping but worse than that it doesn’t boast any location awareness. Tut, tut. Strangely, this app is the only one which isn’t free.
Finally, there are three honourable mentions in the Discounts panel. At the top is Groupon which works on the top four mobile OS.
After that you have Quidco which is iOS and Android followed by Vouchercloud which work on those two OS plus BlackBerry.
Given the budgets that some big brands have spent on their shopping apps, there must be a lot of heads hanging low today.
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