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With an iPhone in my pocket, a trip to the grocery store isn't nearly as unpleasant as it used to be. Thanks to a slew of advanced features that have made my lists smarter and more powerful, I've learned how to save money at checkout and dramatically cut down on the return trips I used to make after forgetting to pick something up. Shopster wants to make the experience even easier. By eschewing common features like iCloud syncing, virtual aisles, and barcode scanning, Shopster focuses on what's most important: What you need to buy and where you need to buy it.
Shopster's clean, teal-and-white interface isn't all that different from other grocery list apps I've used. An orange plus symbol adds a new item, and a neat slider lets you select how much you need, whether it's a dozen rolls or a half-pound of coffee. As you input items, you'll notice that there isn't a lengthy list of suggested products. Instead, the items on your list are added to a library of keywords that pop up as you type; basically, Shopster creates a sort of virtual warehouse that only stocks your favorite things.
Since there's no way to break down your list by stores, Shopster uses geofencing to tell you where to go. If you buy milk this week, for example, the app will remember the location of the store you visited and will remind you when you're nearby the next time it's on your list.
While Shopster is certainly slick, I'm not so sure how useful it is in the real world. I generally shop according to sales, and it's pretty rare that I buy the same thing at the the same store every single time. If Shopster could tell me where to find the best prices for the things on my list, however, then I'd be hooked.
The bottom line. Shopster may be the shopping tool of the future, but at present it's still a bit of a novelty.
iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 5.1 or later
Clean interface. Slick geofencing reminders. Adapts to personal shopping preferences.
Can't create multiple lists. No syncing between devices. Limited features.