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Shopper's helper

The free, ad-supported app seeks out prices for goods either by typing the name or scanning the barcode with your camera.

If you believe in comparison shopping, do yourself a favor and download ShopSavvy. The free, ad-supported app seeks out prices for goods when you either scan the barcode with your Android camera or type in the product name. ShopSavvy then spools out online prices and local offerings at major brick and mortar stores. You can read other peoples' product reviews, and can save what you like to a wish list. When you select a Web entry, you can view it in the browser, e-mail the link to a friend, or broadcast your find on Facebook or Twitter. ShopSavvy's price alert feature is a nice touch, alerting you when a product's price meets your criteria.

As neat a concept as price comparison apps are, you'd do well to take ShopSavvy with a crystal of salt. It's a good starting point, but the app's inventory and pricing aren't always true to life, especially in brick-and-mortar stores. In addition, the company's concentration on major retailers like Wal-Mart and Best Buy means it often skips smaller outfits--capturing each local store in each local market would be an enormous undertaking. To get the best deal, you may need to tap your local knowledge and conduct some independent research beyond the app.

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