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Black Friday 2009: Three necessary apps for your mobile gameplan

J. Emilio Flores/La Opinion

(Read caption) Shoppers leave stores during Black Friday 2008 at the Citadel Outlet in Los Angeles, Calif. On Black Friday 2009, here are three smartphone apps integral to a top-flight shopping experience.

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If you’re raiding American retail temples like Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Target in the early morning hours of Black Friday 2009, you’ll probably be packing a thermos of hot coffee, a thick jacket and a shopping list.

Your best ally, though, is your iPhone, Blackberry or Droid. Here are the three mobile applications that could be shopping game-changers on Black Friday.

1. TGIBlackFriday

Price: Free.

Best use: Planning purposes.

All of the Black Friday deals in one convenient, searchable package. Go to your favorite retailer's Black Friday specials, browse items by category or search for a particular product with this handy app. When you’ve found what you like, add it to your shopping list and then delete items as you conquer them.
Similar: DealNews’ Black Friday app.

2. Occipital RedLaser

Price: $1.99

Best Use: In-the-fray price comparison.

Want to know what other retailers are charging for a particular item? Unleash the RedLaser on the barcode of the item at hand (or, failing that, enter it manually) and let Occipital scan the Internet for the same product. When you don’t have time to shuffle through deal aggregator apps like DealNews and TGIBlackFriday, use this to get price information quickly.

Similar: If you don’t want to fork over the $1.99, the pic2shop app is a free but more pedestrian alternative. If you’re an Amazon devotee, download the Amazon.com app featuring a service that allows you to take a picture of a given item to be stored for later. The app even tries to figure out what item you’ve photographed with decent results on straightforward products like books and yeoman’s work on generic items like computer monitors, often suggesting a comparable product.

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