How can I find deals and bargains with my iPhone 4?
Everyone keeps telling me how they find all these great bargains and deals by using the location features in their iPhones, but I have an iPhone too and I have no idea how to find any of this stuff. It's a phone. What am I missing?
Hold on a second! You own an Apple iPhone and say "it's a phone"? :-)
It's actually quite a remarkably sophisticated handheld computing device with a gorgeous, bright screen and the ability to run thousands of different applications, including a number that, well, let you find bargains and deals based on your current location.
The capability of figuring out where you are so your smartphone can show things near you, by the way, is called "geolocation" and it's handy in a ton of ways, including showing movie screening times in theaters near you, the closest Starbucks and even warning you of speed traps set up by the local cops if you're out driving late one night.
Of course, that's not a feature unique to the Apple iPhone line. In fact any modern smartphone, including the entire Droid line, have geolocation capabilities. And a lot of useful apps that exploit it to offer smarter and more relevant results.
In terms of finding bargains, my favorite application for that task is one most people might not think about in this context: Foursquare [iTunes link]. Yup. Foursquare.
Let me show you...
Here I am in Foursquare, about to check in:
Instead of checking in, however, tap on the "Explore" button on the bottom, between "Friends" and "Check-In". Now you'll see what's near you, but in a very different format:
Still not what we want, though. Tap on "Specials" on the top left, the sort of orange sun icon. Now you're looking at deals:
The first example is a great demo, because it shows that not only does Foursquare make it a breeze to find bargains and specials near your current location, it also knows Groupon deals so if you were heading to Tacos & Co, you could easily buy a Groupon deal and get $10 worth of tacos for only $5. Better yet, so can your friends...
One more, because this is cool. See the little folded map icon on the top right on the "exploring specials" page? Tap on it and you'll see all the deals spread out on a map:
How cool is that?
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