10 Free Android Apps That Will Actually Make You Money While Shopping!

Shopping is either pure bliss or torture depending on who you ask. Regardless of which end of the spectrum you are on, Android apps will help you save money and allow you to become a more efficient shopper (which I’m sure appeals to most of you). So what does that entail? It’ll give the shopaholics more bang for their buck, which is never a bad thing. Perhaps even more importantly, these Android apps will provide shopaphobes what they really crave- less time in the stores!

The pure power and functionality of these Android apps can really make shopping virtually an all new experience. No matter if these apps function as a shopping list, database, storefront or a supplemental knowledge source, they’re all squarely aimed at one thing: if you use them, they will save you money!

You’re getting a feeling like Android shopping apps, in general, might just help you, right? Well here are 10 Android apps that will save you money while they help you fulfill all your shopping needs and desires. Oh and did I mention that all these ten are completely FREE to download?

SnapTell

Want to know more about an item you saw on the rack? Just use SnapTell to scan the barcode of any CD, DVD, book or video game and you will be able to get all the information you could possibly need. What type of information? Well, if you just want some more cursory information, that’ll work. Most notably, if you want to see how the price stacks up to other distributors, it can do that for you in seconds. This app could be a big time money-saver for you if you take the time to use it before you make that next media purchase!

Key Ring Reward Cards

This is a very handy app to consolidate all your clutter in your purse/wallet while ensuring that you don’t lose valuable reward/loyalty cards. How does it work? All you do is take a snapshot of the barcode of your reward card (just about any decent sized company with a rewards program is in the database- over 650 programs) and enter some basic information about the store. That’s it; you’re now ready to use your phone as your reward card at that store in the future by pulling up your reward information from that store on this Android app. It’s probably not for non-techies or those who crave extreme simplicity. It is, however, a great idea and technology that will no doubt get crisper in the future.

If you don’t mind carrying all your reward cards and potentially losing one or two along the way (and having to suffer through the wait to replace the card), this free Android app sounds like a waste of time. But, if the extra inch of not-so-soft plastic padding for your rump (or the misuse of perfectly good purse space- not to mention the potential inability to use your chic tiny purse out shopping) isn’t idyllic, this app is worth the few minutes to download and get everything set up properly.

OurGroceries

This is the perfect app for the happy, busy family of Android phone users. It allows the kids to endlessly add all their necessary foods. When the items are purchased, they can be removed from the list (on all the Android phones it’s registered to) and then, 4 hours later, they can easily be added back onto the list! Joking aside, this is a great app to have for the new-age hyper busy, hyper tech families that want to become more efficient.

Hey, it costs a lot of money to keep purchasing that extra loaf of bread that your husband/wife (or even you- thanks to that undecided hmmm, don’t we need bread moment even though you just bought two loaves yesterday- yes you’re not alone!) just picked up and will end up turning green before anyone has a chance to make a sandwich with it.

OI Shopping list

To me, this app, fully named the OpenIntents Shopping list, is like the OurGroceries for the single folks out there. Not to say a family wouldn’t benefit from this app, it just has more features and it’s not a perfect fit like the other app is for families that need a simple solution to keep up on their latest shopping needs. That being said, this app is a powerful workhorse and can really end up saving you countless hours and some decent cash at year’s end.

US Yellow Pages Search

This is one of the more useful free Android apps available and I’ll be honest, it doesn’t 100% fit with the theme of helping you save money while shopping. I could argue that it does, but for simplicity, I’ll just use an old clich: Time is Money! Saving some time is just as good as saving cash on those busy days out and about. Having this app on your Android phone is like having 300 super-thick Yellowbooks from all over the US crammed into your back pocket. Not a bad thing if you travel a decent amount or enjoy living outside of your house. It’s just a great resource to have on hand for those times when you need to find a business’s number fast.

eBay

This official app brings eBay to your Android phone. It’s kind of crazy, but I think I like this UI better than the actual website on my computer. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad. Nonetheless, it gives you an idea that this Android app was developed correctly and really hits the mark. That is, if you’re an eBay fan; if you’re not, sorry!

Amazon.com

Similar to eBay’s Android app, this beauty from Amazon brings all the functionality from the full-sized website to your Android phone. It’s amazing how seamless this transition appears for these giant resellers. This is a great thing for us though!

Craigslist

The last of the GIANT resellers’ Android apps on this list, I promise. Well, kind of: if you don’t include Groupon in your list of “resellers”, I haven’t lied to you. So, if you’ve ever used Craigslist, you know how utterly important it is to check out a potential “killer item” within 5 minutes of it being posted and subsequently be the first handful of people to contact the seller to have any hopes of actually ending up with it in your possession.

That being said, if you use Craigslist and you have an Android phone, YOU NEED THIS APP NOW! Haha, sorry to scream, but if you’re going to use this portal of goodness with the hopes of eventually buying something you want/need, you have to have instant access to newly posted items. The only way to do that (I’m taking liberties assuming you aren’t a recluse and on your home computer 24/7) is to have access “on-the-go” to instant notifications for your set of items that interest you and also a way to view them. This app performs both of these necessary actions and does them well.

*Please, for your sake, if you want to be the guy (gal) bragging about the awesome deal you got on the “coolest thing in the world” instead of the not-so-happy version of you regrettably telling the story about “the one that got away” to anyone who will listen, download this app!*

Groupon

This is the official app from the immensely popular and rapidly growing Groupon website. This site has a “cult-like” following (not in a bad way!) which actually benefits its users. Essentially, the more people that use their services, the more offers are presented to the users and that helps all of us save a good amount of money! This free Android app ensures that you’re never out of the “Groupon loop” and you’ll have the opportunity to take advantage of the appealing offers wherever you may be.

The Coupons App

Another money-saving coupon app? Yes! That’s all I can say- the prospects of saving a buck in this economy is a powerful force it seems. I’m almost a bit surprised at myself that I didn’t completely inundate this “shopping list” with coupon apps (patting myself on the shoulder for spreading out the love). If only I could go back in time to 1989 and use this app instead of clipping 500-plus coupons from the Sunday paper (for my mom). Well those were good times- minus the paper cuts.

What’s this Android app going to do for you? Anything and everything coupon related; it brings the coupons with you on your phone and allows you to find new ones even while you’re at the store! That’s pretty awesome for those of us not commanding “Top CEO” salaries…

Honorable Mention:

There’s only one free Android app that I would consider putting on this list. The reason is because it’s probably the most important app for everyone to download today. I consider it more of a “mandatory app” than an Android shopping app and that’s why it’s here.

The app I’m speaking of is the Barcode Scanner. Among other things, it allows you to browse the web on your computer and take a photo of the QR Code of an app you’re interested in downloading. Once the code is processed (which takes very little time- talking seconds), the corresponding Android app’s download page appears in the Google Marketplace! It’s that simple and works like a charm once you get past the short “operator error” stage that plagues most of us.

How To Develop Android Apps: Getting Started

In this article, I will give an introduction on how to develop Android apps. I will not get into many technical details but rather give an overview of the approaches you should consider before you get started.

Smartphones are taking the World by storm. In may 2012 a news item appeared which stated that in Europe, more than 50% of all new mobile phones sold were smartphones. In 2011 the worldwide sales figures of Android phones exceeded those of the iPhone, the phone that started the “smartphone revolution”.

With the growing number of Android phones, the number of available apps (small programs designed to work on these devices) has also grown explosively. In addition to mobile phones, other devices such as tablet computers that run on the Android operating system are also gaining popularity. The consequence of all this is that there is a growing need for Android apps.

The Google Play Store (formerly Android Market) is growing at an enormous rate: there are now over 500,000 apps available. These are very diverse: utility apps such as text messengers, task managers and email clients but also a host of games. The most popular apps are being downloaded millions of times. Other interesting categories are apps that enhance businesses. Examples of these are apps that enable customers to purchase products right from their mobile phone or apps that provide the location of a company branch in the vicinity of the user.

The increasing popularity of mobile apps gives rise to many interesting business opportunities. This trend is unlikely to change any time soon and established business around the world are acknowledging this fact. Not only have many businesses produced mobile apps to grow their revenue or enhance their image. The rise of mobile apps appears to be changing the way businesses and consumers think about software. A telling example comes from Microsoft: the new Windows 8 operating system has a “mobile look and feel” and the software programs in the system are now referred to as “apps”.

So, if you want to learn how to develop Android apps where should you start? It depends on your previous experience (if any) and the amount of time and money you are willing to spend.

The most obvious route is doing all the programming yourself. To do this you need knowledge of the Java programming language and the Android Software Development Kit. If you have never programmed before, you will have to learn a lot about subjects such as object oriented programming and working with the necessary developer tools. This is the long, hard road to becoming an app developer… however, if you succeed at making your first few apps, it can be extremely satisfying and you will have gained a lot of useful knowledge!

If you do not know how to program and don’t want to learn how to write Android apps then, fortunately, there are other options. Several software products exist which make the app for you. Most of these are online applications that use “wizards” and templates. A limitation of this approach is that you will not have as much control over the result as you would when doing all the programming yourself. Some of these app makers are free, others offer a subscription service or a one time payment.

If app creation software doesn’t suit your needs, a third way is to hire a freelancer or a company to do the developing. If you are an individual hobbyist or running a small business, this may seem intimidating and expensive. However, using a resource such as oDesk we now have access to many cheap freelancers living outside of North America and Europe. Many are very capable at their job, so developing your app this way does not have to cost much at all.

Personally, I started out trying to do all the programming myself. I couldn’t find an online app maker that suited my needs and I did not want to spend a lot of money. However, although I had a little coding experience, I am not a software developer by profession. So when a relatively simple programming problem reared its head, I got stuck.

After some hesitation, I decided to let a freelancer solve the problem and this sped up the development of my app enormously! It did not cost me a lot of money (around $100) and I was able to get the app to the market much faster than if I had done everything myself. This allowed me to start testing the responses of customers sooner to see if it was a viable business idea.

This “hybrid” approach worked for me but you will have to find out for yourself what works best for you. Which method you choose doesn’t matter as long as you reach your goal: making the idea you have right now for your app a reality. Something that people can use and enjoy, and perhaps will make you some money or help your existing business!

In conclusion, there are several ways to get started developing Android apps. With so much information and services at your disposal, you have the opportunity to make your “dream app” a reality!

Spot the Best Android App Developers

It’s not tough to spot the best Android app developers. All you need to do is simply look at their applications. Even the brand-new Android owner can tell you which apps took talent and which were hastily done without regard to the end result. The best Android app developers release app after successful app, and all share similar characteristics. This holds true whether the app is aimed toward the gaming population or to the practical users who use their Android to make life easier.

The best Android app developers:

• Plan, plan, and plan some more. Before one single line of code is written, the best Android app developers can answer the following questions: Who is my audience? How will this app carve out a niche in the app market? Will this be a free or fee-based app? What is a fair charge if a fee will be collected? These answers have to be set in stone before a developer reaches the next step, which inevitably involves asking the question:

• What will the app involve? Graphics and typesets must be selected, but first, the best app developer must consider the entire app in question. He or she imagines it as a finished product and decides where any gaps pose problems to the user in terms of usability. Before he or she begins to actually design the app, these problems have been taken care of and the app begins to take shape.

• Great app developers are willing to admit if they have made a mistake with any part of this planning phase, and they quickly fix it and move on to the next step. If a certain protocol isn’t working, they immediately recognize the problem and fix it. Above all, the best developers keep their ego in check and realize that if the end user cannot understand how to work the app, it does not matter how intricately beautiful it is. The user will simply press erase, and that will be the end of that app.