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Manage your holiday gift-giving from your iOS device

Karissa Bell | Dec. 5, 2011
Holiday shopping has swung into full gear. But while others elbowed their way to Black Friday deals and clicked on Cyber Monday savings, you sat on the sidelines. Maybe you always put off holiday shopping until the last minute. Maybe you’re daunted by the thought of coming up with a list, let alone checking it twice. Maybe you think the entire process is a bit of a drag.

Holiday shopping has swung into full gear. But while others elbowed their way to Black Friday deals and clicked on Cyber Monday savings, you sat on the sidelines. Maybe you always put off holiday shopping until the last minute. Maybe you’re daunted by the thought of coming up with a list, let alone checking it twice. Maybe you think the entire process is a bit of a drag.

Not to worry: Your iOS device can also double as a holiday season assistant—if you equip it with the right software. A number of App Store downloads offer to help you by managing your gift-giving every step of the way.

Of course, you don’t want to add shopping for such an app onto your already lengthy list of holiday to-dos. That’s where I come in—I’ve spent the last week looking at seven iOS gift list managers, and I now have a good idea of which apps will help you tackle your holiday shopping. Not surprisingly, a lot of these apps sport similar capabilities, but a few stand out by implementing those features in intuitive ways.

Who’s been naughty

Let’s first dispense with the apps that came up short in my testing. When looking for a gift list manager, you want to avoid apps that are either organized poorly or lack critical features. If an app isn’t going to save you any time or help you stay organized, then you’d be better off sticking to making a list with pen and paper. Apps that don’t allow you to specify enough detail just aren’t very helpful, either.

Of the apps I’ve looked at, Drag & Drop Christmas List ( Macworld rated 2.5 out of 5 mice ) can at least claim to take the most unique approach to organizing your shopping list. Unfortunately, that approach just doesn’t work as well as it should.

In Drag & Drop Christmas, each name on your list gets assigned to a stocking. From there, you drag and drop icons from several different gift categories into the different stockings. While the preset list of gifts turns out to be pretty extensive, they’re a little too generic to really be helpful in organizing a list. And the stockings, while fun at first, aren’t very efficient when it comes to navigating through your list, particularly if you’re giving gifts to a long list of people. I appreciate the app’s creativity, but its execuetion falls flat.

Poor execution also does in My Christmas List ( Macworld rated 2 out of 5 mice ), which looks more like a grocery list than one for festive present buying. The app’s looks aren’t deceiving—it takes an overly bare-bones approach to list management.

 

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