Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Gift Planning App With Comparison Shopping

Food for Benjamin has introduced No More Socks 1.0 for iOS, their versatile gift-planning app that features the ability to save the results of comparison shopping. Designed to organize gift-giving all year round, the app allows the user to easily create detailed lists of gift recipients, event dates, gift ideas, online retailers, traditional stores, specific gift items with prices, and the gifts remaining to be purchased within a chosen period of time. All lists and bookmarks may be exported from the iOS device to a computer for more convenient online ordering.

On launch, the splash page displays stick-up notes of various colors, posted on a refrigerator door. Each note accesses a function, including Events, People, Shopping, Ideas Pad, and Help. The app differentiates between two types of event: personal events for occasions that involve a single individual (e.g. birthday), and group events where more than one person must be considered (e.g. Christmas). The user can set a budget for each member of a group event, and the total budget displayed for the event is the sum of all the individual budgets. The app keeps track of items purchased and the amount of the total budget used. Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and birthdays are available as presets to make event creation quick, or the name and date of the event may be entered manually.

Touch-activating the People function of No More Socks permits the user to pick a name or names from their main iOS contact list, or create a new entry in the app. Once created, each person's entry may include their full name, birthdate, their photo, gift ideas for that person, past gifts given and any events that have been entered using the Events function. There is also a toggle switch for sending a birthday push reminder (iOS 4 and later required). Gift Ideas and Past Gifts can be accessed from the Gifts section of the person's page. This allows the user to keep a running list of ideas for each person and to keep a reference of gifts bought in the past. When adding a gift idea the user may add an item already listed in the Ideas Pad or enter a new idea from scratch.

Feature Highlights:
* Create Events, add People, add Gifts, go Shopping - all from within the app
* Quickly enter a note or a photo at any time with the Ideas Pad
* Keep a list of ideas for each person all year round
* Search the web for the ideal gift
* Create bookmarks to retailers' websites who offer gift items of interest
* Get everything needed from a store in one visit with Smart Shopping Lists
* Export Shopping Lists, including bookmarks, to any computer via email
* Keep track of all gifts purchased in previous years
* Get reminders about friends' birthdays
* Import contacts from any address book

The Ideas Pad serves as a notepad for any gift ideas the user may have that aren't related to a particular person or event, or when they are short of time and need to make a quick note they intend to file later. It encourages quick-entry by asking only for a name and optional photo, but other information can be added by tapping the More Details button.

When adding gifts to the app the user may enter the idea, a budget, a picture, notes, and possible sources for purchasing the item. Touching the Add Retailer button brings up a comprehensive, scrollable list of online and offline retailers, any of which may be selected to begin shopping. The app includes a built-in directory of popular merchants, and performs a Google search to find additional merchants. The app automatically adds new retailers for quick access next time. For shoppers preferring the convenience of a large screen and keyboard when purchasing, all retailer bookmarks from No More Socks may be emailed to any computer, complete with notes and prices.

Selecting the Shopping function from the main menu brings up the shopping lists: organized lists of the retailer bookmarks that the user has added to their gift ideas. Four options are available: All Shopping, Online Shopping, Offline Shopping, and Past Purchases. Selecting All Shopping displays a list of all items yet to be purchased for events within a user-defined timeframe, which is easily set via a simple slider. A button allows the user to show and hide their secondary choices. The Shopping List shows a red check for gifts remaining to be purchased and a green check for items completed. The user toggles between the two with a quick tap. Shopping Lists are grouped by retailer so the user can see what needs buying from each. All related information such as notes, budget, retailers, price and the merchant's web page is available within one or two taps. If desired, the user may complete the entire online transaction from within the app, and check the item off the list. As above,
all information can be emailed to any computer.

"We looked carefully at all the gift planning apps on the App Store and found a few features missing from all of them that would be very useful to users." stated company Co-Founder Duncan Abbott. "I spent months along with my wife Jo and our 16-month old Benjy creating No More Socks. We're very proud of the result, and we're certain that iOS device owners will find that our app helps put the fun back into gift-giving."

Pricing and Availability:
No More Socks 1.0 is available at the special introductory price of $0.99 (USD) through the App Store in the Productivity category. Review copies are available upon request.

*thanks iclarified*

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

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