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The Boston Globe

Business

Shopping apps help ease the pain

Location data, gift suggestions join the price comparison tools

A few of you may have managed to navigate the sea of humanity at the mall on Friday and emerge with sacks of gifts and holiday shopping nearly done. The rest of us can look forward to days of trudging from one store to the next or hunching over the computer at work, surreptitiously surfing for that elusive deal on a Michael Kors watch or on the FIFA 2013 video game.

But in a world of smartphones and tablets, a host of mobile apps can make 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.

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