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Tech review: Apps to enhance your Black Friday experience

With the Shopular app, shoppers can access

With the Shopular app, shoppers can access  promo codes that can bring purchase prices lower. Credit: Newsday/Rakuten Rewards

The Thanksgiving week tradition of feasting on bargains is underway as many retailers break out Black Friday sales early. These apps can help you plan your shopping spree in Long Island stores — or let your fingers do the walking and order online.


(iOS, Android; free)

Target, yes, but this is really a placeholder: Whether it’s Target, Walmart, Macy’s, Kohl’s, Best Buy, Costco or any of the scores of retailer-specific apps available, they are excellent to download because all are free. Most offer special sales and discounts unavailable on any third-party app. Many retailers allow you to order items on the app and then pick them up at a nearby Long Island store.

Black Friday Ads 2019

(iOS, Android; free)

There are several similarly named apps on the app stores, but this one from developer Sazze has become a yearly tradition. The app not only gives you information on Black Friday sales from major retailers, it also gives you updates on the ubiquitous and ever-changing “doorbuster” deals. Know what you want but don’t know where to find it? You can search for items by store or by category.


(iOS, Android; free)

Shopular is a year-round shopping helper, but it really shines during Black Friday and the holiday season. Not only can it help you find deals and bargains at hundreds of retailers, you can earn up to 25 percent cash back when you place your orders through the app. You can also access scores of promo codes that can help bring your purchase price lower.


(iOS, Android; free)

Ordering online from several retailers? This app aggregates your shipping information from an array of retailers, including Amazon, Walmart and Macy’s for items being delivered by major carriers such as UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service. Arrive lets you track your packages and follow their progress on a map. It’s especially powerful if you use Gmail because it syncs seamlessly with order information you receive on that popular email service. 

Apple bans vaping apps

Apple has removed all vaping-related apps from its App Store. Apple told Axios, which first reported the story, that it also revised its App Store guidelines to say that “apps encouraging or facilitating the use of these products are not permitted.” The removed apps included instructional “how to vape” apps, vaping-related games and social media apps. Vaping products have been implicated in at least 42 deaths.


Turn off the juice jackers

Thanksgiving means an increase in travelers — and an increase in scams. Law enforcement agencies are warning about “juice jacking,” where public USB chargers found in airports and hotels are sometimes loaded with malware that can infect your phone. The solution: If you are traveling, bring your own USB charger and cables, which you can safely plug into any AC outlet.


IRS eyes cryptocurrency tax evaders

The IRS says it has identified more potential cryptocurrency tax evaders after a meeting with tax authorities from Britain, Australia, Canada and the Netherlands earlier this month. The agency sent letters to more than 10,000 people earlier this year, warning they might be subject to penalties for skirting taxes on investments in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.


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