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App Chat: Digital tools to make gift-giving a breeze

Bond Gifts app

Bond Gifts app

Screenshot of the Bond Gifts app.

Hanukkah kicks off the holiday season next week. If you dread the idea of poring through catalogs or braving the mall, we've got just the thing for you -- shopping with your smart phone. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's Wednesday which means it's time for App Chat.

Here to talk us through gift giving in the digital age is Devindra Hardawar from Venture Beat.

Recommended Apps:

Bond Gifts
This is a gift giving app focused on strengthening your relationships with people. It offers around 100 hand-picked products ranging from $15 to $15,000, but the kicker is you don't need to know someone's address to send a gift. Instead, you plug in their phone number or email address, and Bond follows up with them to confirm their addresses. Bond also forces you to write a short message to the recipient, which is then written "by hand" with a robot. It doesn't look like a font. You can also use Bond just to send "hand written" followup messages.

The Find
This is an e-commerce shopping site that's been around since 2005, its main goal is to crawl as many shopping sites as possible to dig up exactly what you want, along with any relevant deals. The company launched Shopping by the Find for the iPad earlier this year, which contains all of its e-commerce filtering smarts. You can browse for items and purchase right from within the app. 

RetailMeNot
This one helps you find and organize coupons for online shopping sites, as well as retail stores. It's especially useful if you like to shop at specific retailers, you can set up the app.

ShopSavvy
One of the first mobile shopping apps to take off, it's still useful as a way compare prices of items online and offline. When you're in stores, you can use your phone's camera to scan barcodes. Its iPhone app was recently designed to focus more on product discovery, so now it can also help you think of good gift ideas while you're looking for good deals.


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