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Daily Deal Apps

Daily Deal Apps Review

Posted on 12/9/2011 10:58 EST

Looking for a deal? Silly question -- everyone is these days, and you don't have to look far. In fact, you can roll over in bed, grab your smartphone, and instantly see the biggest and best daily deals before your feet even hit the ground. We're talking about daily deal apps. Mashable reports that by the end of this year Americans will have spent nearly $2 billion through sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial, both of which also have mobile apps that alert consumers to nearby deals.

Following is a look at those and other deal apps you might want to have in your bargain-hunting arsenal.

Photo by ilamont.com

Groupon is without doubt king of the daily deal sites. Launched in 2008, it operates in 45 countries and features daily deals -- what to do, what to see, where to eat, and where to buy -- for your specific location.

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The free Groupon app is available for the iPhone and for Android and BlackBerry phones, as well as a handful of others. Once set up, you'll have mobile access to local daily deals, getaway deals, and online deals. You'll also get push notifications through the app when a new deal goes live. You can redeem a daily deal from the Groupon app on your smartphone when you enter a store -- no tree-killing printouts here. And if you're looking for holiday gifts, you can give purchased deals as gifts, too, by selecting that option at check out.

The Groupon app scores rave reviews from users who have posted deal apps reviews on iTunes. Consumers call the app an amazing, real-time money and sanity saver. At AppBrain, some Groupon app reviews gripe that it's slow, although comments from the Android Market deem the Groupon app fast, efficient, and easy to use. A recent article by The New York Times concludes that the Groupon app is spotty but deserves a home on your smartphone. Note that the Groupon app may prove most valuable to city dwellers who live close to the majority of daily deals.

LivingSocial is a lot like Groupon and gaining ground against that market leader. This daily deals site offers handpicked experiences in numerous locations: 277 cities in North America and additional urban areas around the world. LivingSocial features discounts on items such as magazine subscriptions and gift cards, as well as money-saving deals at national retail chains (Old Navy, for one). This deals site also sponsors an app, and you can redeem deals without printing a voucher or pass them along as gifts.

The LivingSocial app is available for iPhone and Android phones. Like Groupon's daily deals app, it provides deals targeted to your location. If you purchase a deal through the app you'll be prompted to share it with friends via social networks or email. If enough friends buy the deal you might even get your deal for free. Each deal tells you how many friends need to buy in for you to earn a freebie.

The LivingSocial app gets decent reviews on iTunes, where one user calls it a must-have daily deals app and others say it delivers hard-to-beat deals. The Android version of the LivingSocial app fares less well. Users posting daily deal app reviews on Android Market report that the LivingSocial app doesn't show local deals even though it should, won't allow users to change locations, and often freezes up. In addition, The New York Times notes that coverage is haphazard in some locations, much like it is with the Groupon app.

Google Offers is one of a handful of daily deal apps that's available only for Android phones. The Google Offers app is similar to both the Groupon app and the LivingSocial app, except there are more options for personalization. By answering a few questions about your specific preferences, you'll be shown only the daily deals that the Google algorithm decides are likely to interest you. Google Offers lets you redeem deals via smartphone without printing a voucher and occasionally delivers online offerings (such as a recent deal from Newegg.com) that are redeemable online. Google Offers is available in 35 cities and counting. Users of the Google Offers app who posted comments on the Android Market seem satisfied with the app itself but gripe that the offers are limited to so few cities.

Woot presents users with one deal a day. That's right -- just one, and it's good until supplies run out or it expires and the next deal is released. The deals aren't necessarily local but are available online. There are branches of Woot for home, kids, T-shirts, and wine. All are represented in the Woot app. Users posting deal app reviews on Blippy swear by the Woot app, saying it runs smoothly, has an appealing interface, and is an addictive way to capture the best deals. The Woot app is currently available only to iPhone users.

Gilt offers a selection of designer deals at up to 60 percent off. Bargain hunters can peruse deals before they go live, a perk that allows for some comparison shopping. Gilt has apps available for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and other smartphones. Users who commented on iTunes report zero problems and great success with Gilt, and reviewers who posted on Blippy say Gilt's slick interface makes bargain hunting especially easy.

Photo by mauritsonline

Amazon, not exactly a daily deals site, nonetheless offers exclusive Lightning Deals and Gold Box Deals of the Day. It also has deal apps: Amazon Deals for the iPhone and the Amazon App for Android. The iPhone version focuses more on current deals and makes them very accessible by letting you check offers, get reminders about upcoming offers, receive push notifications, and choose the way you view daily deals. The Android deals app is more a tool for accessing Amazon.com from your mobile device, but deals are still relatively easy to locate. The iPhone version garners mediocre reviews on iTunes, where users report difficulty using it. However, Android App Review Source gives the Android deal app a thumbs-up, saying it works seamlessly with Android devices and is user-friendly and packed with tons of features.

Yipit is a bit different from typical deals sites. Instead of presenting deals unique to the site, it aggregates all the deals available in your city from 780 deal sites, including Groupon, LivingSocial, and more. You can fill out your account to get the deals that interest you most, be they for restaurants, clothing, or fitness classes. A Yipit Deals app is available for iPhone users. A reviewer from Appolicious finds it useful but warns against relying on it completely for all your deal hunting and gathering. The app's function depends largely on your location; it doesn't yet capture national or instant deals.

Kgbdeals covers 23 cities and gives away kgbkash if you refer a friend who buys a deal. While the credited amount varies depending on the purchase, you can earn up to $120 in kgbkash through the referral program. Note that when you purchase a deal you must print the voucher in order to redeem it.

The kgbdeals app is available for iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry users, but the jury is still out on its merits and failings. BlackBerry users who have posted reviews on BlackBerry App World are split: Some say the app runs as it should and others complain it doesn't work on the BlackBerry Torch. Users who have reviewed the daily deal app for Android Marketplace are just not impressed. One company employee concedes its lackluster performance and others report such frustrations as expired deals and automatic shutdowns when trying to use deals. iPhone users make out marginally better; the few reviews on iTunes say the deals are good but one notes the app is problematic.

If you have experience with some of these daily deal apps, feel free to weigh in with your favorites.

Filed in: Android, Apps, Daily Deals, Deals, iPad, iPhone
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