In order to stay on top of the holiday apps that are beginning to come through my inbox I’ve decided to highlight most of them on lists this year. You’ll see an occasional full review but the majority of the holiday themed apps will be found on lists which I’m going to try to publish weekly. This is the best way for me to get the word out about the apps in a timely manner. I wish I could review them all but unfortunately I can’t. If I did there’s a decent chance it’d literally be Christmas in July on the site. So without further ado here are the first apps of the bunch.

Gifts - “Gifts” lets its users browse thousands of gift ideas from different brands, constantly updated and carefully picked by gift experts. The users can search gifts by recipient, occasion, category, price and keywords. The App includes a Wish List management and users can share gift ideas by email, twitter, Facebook, delicious and more. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later. Price: Free ~ See Gifts in the App Store

ShopNow - ShopNow offers store locations and store hours for local retailers. It has a one click store finder that allows you to browse open stores near you by shopping category. You can also search by store name, store category and product category. Both the list and map view of nearby stores include a visual indicator of store’s open/close status and reflect special late night holiday hours when available. ShopNow includes over 500,000 retailers in the app and are constantly verifying and updating the database. However, stores open, close and move quickly. You’ll see a feature in the app to send in updates if you find a listing that isn’t current.  The icons in the search results indicate if a store is open at that moment, i.e. green means open, grey means closed. In the map view the colors are green = open, red=closed, black = don’t know. Version 3.5 of the app was just released this week. This update introduces the ability to sort results, an aggregated Twitter feeds view.an an “All” category. Price: Free ~ See Shop Now in the App Store

TapBuy Deals - TapBuy Deals is the only sale & deal app that lets you buy in seconds without leaving the app or using a Web browser. And it’s the only app to track coupons and add them to your orders automatically. Offers marked with a “*” can be purchased in seconds, without leaving the app. The first time you order, TapBuy saves your credit card and shipping preferences securely, protected by a PIN you choose and bank-grade encryption. When you TapBuy, you verify your PIN and TapBuy forwards your order to the merchant. It’s safe and takes 10 seconds or less. TapBuy ordering currently works with brands including Target, Groupon, Gap, and Banana Republic. New brands are added regularly. TapBuy stores your account and payment information securely, using the same technology banks use. Your PIN is required to place an order or view your personal information, so you are protected even if your iPhone is lost or stolen. When you order, TapBuy sends your order information to the merchant securely, protected by bank-grade encryption. Price: Free ~ See TapBuy Deals in the App Store

Disclosure: I have not personally tried these apps. The descriptions come from the editors with some minor editing by myself.


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