Thanksgiving's upon us, and we all know what that means: The insanity-packed holiday we call Black Friday is right around the corner.
If you're among the determined (and perhaps slightly crazy) deal-seekers willing to brave the crowds, don't leave yourself unarmed. With your Android phone in hand and the right set of apps installed, you'll be ahead of the masses and ready to sniff out the best sales around.
Grab these five free Android apps now, and head into the Black Friday jungle prepared.
Black Friday Android App #1: Black Friday App
Android's aptly named Black Friday App puts all your Black Friday planning into your smartphone. The app lets you search by store to find available sales in your area. You can dig around by category, too, or browse through the top-ranked deals at any given moment. The Black Friday app has store hours available on each deals page. It also offers options to save your favorite deals into an internal list or share them via e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter. (See a screenshot of the app)
Black Friday Android App #2: The Coupons App
Want to make the most of your money? Check out The Coupons App. It gives you an up-to-date list of all the latest freebies, discounts, and deals floating around on the Web -- and then gives you the coupons and codes you need to get in on the savings. Many stores will let you simply show the barcode on your phone to cash in. The Coupons App works year-round, so it might be worth hanging onto even after Black Friday's behind us. (See a screenshot of the app)
Black Friday Android App #3: ShopSavvy
Android's classic comparison app is a must-have for any shopping adventure. With ShopSavvy, you just scan the barcode of any product to instantly get a wealth of information. The app gives you a list of prices from stores online and in your area so you can compare. It presents you with photos and detailed product info as well, along with a collection of online reviews. ShopSavvy even allows you to set an automatic price alert so you'll be notified when an item's price drops below a certain point. (See a screenshot of the app)
Black Friday Android App #4: Google Shopper
Google's Shopper Android app is a worthwhile supplement to ShopSavvy. It functions under the same basic principle but with a few cool twists: In addition to scanning barcodes, Shopper can recognize the covers of most books, CDs, DVDs, and video games. You can also search for product info by voice command, or browse through lists of items by category. (See a screenshot of the app)
Black Friday Android App #5: Discount Calculator
Our last Black Friday Android app is one you might not want to admit you need -- but one that could end up saving you a lot of time. Discount Calculator quickly computes the final price of any item minus a percentage-based discount. It can factor in sales tax, too, so you'll see the actual final amount you'll end up paying. The Android Market has a few apps with similar names; the one we tested is the free Discount Calculator by Pablo Verd Gallego. (See a screenshot of the app)