In just a few short years Steve Jobs and Apple have transformed the way we get our information thanks in large part to the iPhone and the iPad. Both devices are great for communicating, watching videos and sharing information, but the real benefit is the additional 100,000 or so third party applications (apps) that you can download and enhance your user experience.
By far the most popular apps are the game apps that bring back the oldies like Pacman as well as the newer iBasketball, but since this is a Survival Guide we thought we would present a few apps that are a little more practical. Below we feature some iPad/iPhone apps that will save you money. There are many more than these cash saving apps so please share your favorites in the Comments section.
GasBuddy. If you want help finding the cheapest gasoline in your neighborhood, GasBuddy is a great way to go. GasBuddy works by having a community of users post updates for gas prices for everyone else to use. In most cities GasBuddy price updates occur within an hour. In addition to the gas prices savings if you report prices you can also earn reward points that can be applied toward tickets for a weekly drawing for a $250 prepaid gas card at the station of your choice.
ShopSavvy. This app allows you to use your iPhone or iPad camera to scan a product's barcode so that ShopSavvy can find the lowest price for it on the Internet. In addition to finding Internet prices ShopSavvy also will show you the prices at your local brick-and-mortar stores. The "Deals" feature provides updates on shipping promotions, coupon codes, and other ways to save money, while "Price Alerts" lets you set buying price and get alerts when your selected product moves below your price threshold.
Kayak Mobile. For many iPhone users Kayak is their absolute favorite travel app. Kayak saves you money on flights and hotels by scanning all the sites on the Internet for the best hotel and flight deals. Most people will tell you that Kayak saves them anywhere from 20-40% on their travel costs.
Square. A personal favorite, Square is an app that allows you to accept credit cards directly through your iPhone using a small plug-in attached to your phone. The Square plug in is about the size of a quarter and basically turns your phone into a credit card machine. The app and plu-in are free, with the only charge being a flat fee of 2.75% per swiped transaction. If you choose not to "swipe" and enter the card numbers manually the fee rises to 3.5% plus 15 cents per transaction to cover the risk of fraud.
ReceiptLoader (App is free; monthly plans start at $7; iPhone, iPad). If you travel or have a lot of work expenses, this app is more than worth the subscription fee. It can save you valuable time and ensure you don't forget expenses or lose receipts. Receipt Loader lets you use your phone to take a picture of your receipt, with the app identifying the key information and categorizing the receipt. When it's time to do your expense report the app allows for the export of the data from your phone to produce the hard copy. There are 3 plans to choose from: $7 lets you store 30 receipts monthly, $23 (100 receipts), and $42 (500).
Priceless Picks (MasterCard). Priceless Picks is a nice app to find local deals using Google Maps to identify the location othe savings. 3D Google maps are presented with all types of deals based on your current location. Just slide around the interface and find some offers, reviews and deals at local places. Even though it is a promotional app for the mega-corporation MasterCard, it is a nice app to help you find some savings that you might not have known about.
Craigphone. Many people say that Craigphone is easier to use than the actual craigslist.org. The app is free and is full of features to include photo upload, location sharing, and click-to-call. It lets you browse, search and post on Craigslist as you would in a browser and will definitely save you money when hunting for deals and freebies.
Netflix. How much money do you waste on On-Demand cable movies with Comcast? The Netflix app and the iPad eliminate all that. With the Netflix app you can instantly watch TV shows & movies streaming from Netflix on your ipad. With over 100,000 movies, Netflix will save you tons of cash on one-off movie rentals and purchases of DVDs.
Groupon. Groupon has taken off in popularity over the last few years, primarily because of the size of the deals you can get. Typically a Groupon (coupon) willl net you 50% off whatever you're buying (usually a meal). The deals are great but you make sure you are buying something you really want. Buying a $20 meal you don't want for $10 is the same as wasting $10.
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