Technology available to help navigate your Black Friday rush

Updated 11/16/2012 8:13 AM
  • This is how Evzdrop would look on your smartphone screen.

    This is how Evzdrop would look on your smartphone screen.

  • David Rush

    David Rush

  • This is how Evzdrop would look on your smartphone screen.

    This is how Evzdrop would look on your smartphone screen.

  • This is how Evzdrop would look on your smartphone screen.

    This is how Evzdrop would look on your smartphone screen.

Evzdrop, a Chicago-based company has launched a new free iPhone and iPad app by the same name just in time for Black Friday shopping.

The company was founded by David Rush of Winnetka and Erik Bron of Wilmette. The app offers a real-time, location board network where shoppers and even the stores can "drop" information or deals. It may come in handy for shoppers telling cohorts if a Black Friday deal is already sold out, where the lines are too long or where the next special is popping up, Rush said.

"It's like a tweet or a post, but we call them drops," Rush said.

The app works by allowing users to follow, or eavesdrop, on places to get an inside look at what's happening through the eyes of the people who are present and posting. On-site users can post real-time reviews or other insightful content limited to 140 characters. Businesses also can post and send push notifications, letting fans know about whether something is being restocked or if a new discount is available just for Evzdrop users.

The app, launched in September, is also available on the web platform and an Android version is in development, but won't be available for Black Friday, Rush said.

"Anyone can participate, but right now we're still new and focused just on the Chicago area," he said.

For those looking for any number of apps, QR codes or other technology to navigate Black Friday doorbusters, Verizon Wireless said these free apps are available on both Apple and Android devices to help with holiday shopping, including:

Black Friday Survival Guide: This app lets shoppers view leaked and verified Black Friday ads, search for the best deals and create personal shopping lists.

• Shop Savvy: Using their smartphone camera, shoppers can use this app to scan prices and search for the best in-store and online deals. It's available on Apple and Android devices.

• Find My Car: This app uses location services to help shoppers locate their vehicles in crowded mall parking lots.

Black Friday Deals 2012: Your app to find all Black Friday ads and Black Friday deals for 2012 in one space. This list will be updated several times a day.

Black Friday 2012 Ads: They are bringing Black Friday ads, big sales, and the best deals right to your phone with the app.

• SitOrSquat: Restroom Finder: Need to go, on the go? SitOrSquat by Charmin can help you find public restrooms near you or where you're planning to travel.

• Bar code Scanner: Scan bar codes on products then look up prices and reviews.

ShopSavvy Barcode Scanner: Find the best online and local prices. Aim the camera at any product's bar code, wait for the beep and ShopSavvy will provide you with a list of online and local prices.

Here are some others:

• Chicago-based offers a mobile app at It offers a camera app so users can transform paper coupons into digital versions that will be stored in the app and scanned by cashiers at checkout. Users take a picture of the coupon, scan the bar code and save it to their device as a digital coupon. Users then can add labels, descriptions and expiration dates to their coupons. CouponCabin also offers Newflash, an app that sends up-to-the-minute coupons and deals.

AT&T, which has its Midwest headquarters in Hoffman Estates, offers an app for download that is a bar code scanner that can scan UPC or QR codes and does a search to find the best deals around you.

Shopkick allows you to earn "kickbucks" while shopping, just for doing things like checking in or scanning items in stores. These kickbucks can be redeemed for instant gift cards, right on an Android phone. Also, it offers you deals every time you walk into a participating store. It has a number of big-box retailers, like Target, Best Buy and Macy's already on board, is an app that offers an RSS feed and deals.

• TGI Black Friday, aggregates all of the latest Black Friday ads floating around.

• SnipSnap is an app that allows you to scan, save, and redeem coupons directly from your smartphone.

MyCityWay is an app that brings in the utility of about 30 apps and can help Black Friday shoppers make their plans. It can help you avoid traffic and plan the most efficient route, receive live transit alerts, find local transportation options and view more than 400 traffic cams in real-time. You can also locate the best boutiques by category, neighborhood and location, as well as nearby sales and deals. And the app pinpoints necessities, like the nearest bathrooms, Wi-Fi hot spots and other information. To download the app, visit iPhone/iPad, Android, Blackberry, Nokia or MyCityWay download page.

Black Friday App by and available through Google Play allows shoppers to get deals all in one place and search stores based on your location.

FamilyWhere from T-Mobile and Google Play keeps track of the family among the shopping crowds.

NeatCloud and NeatMobile can help on Black Friday. Shoppers can save receipts immediately with NeatMobile by using the camera on their mobile device. Simply take a picture of the receipt by using the NeatMobile application. NeatMobile employs Optical Character Recognition, or OCR, and parsing technology, which extracts key information from receipts, making each file keyword searchable and easy to retrieve for future returns. With more and more shoppers purchasing gifts online, Neat can be used to organize receipts. Sending all e-receipts to a distinct email address which syncs with NeatCloud. Users can also share receipts and expense reports with spouses, family members and friends in NeatCloud. When sharing files in Neat, people can exchange comments and communicate on specific files or folders about the holidays.

•Follow Anna Marie Kukec on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter. Write to her at

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