In a smartphone and tablet world, there are a host of mobile apps that can make holiday shopping much easier — or less painful — by finding the best prices on popular items, locating a hard-to-find gift at a nearby store, or even suggesting what to get your crotchety old aunt. The best apps are those as useful inside the mall as when shopping online. They blend barcode scanning and text input, GPS and other location technologies, so you can find and compare products among online retailers and nearby brick-and-mortar stores.
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