If you aren’t familiar with Groupon, you must be living under a rock (or, at least not in one of Groupon's more than 50 markets). Every day, Chicago-based Groupon offers a coupon for a local business, usually at a heavily-discounted price. The coupon is only available for one day and the deal only happens if enough people buy it—which is the group part of Groupon. Now, the new Groupon iPhone app ensures that you don’t even need to be near a computer to tap into Groupon’s collective buying power.
Upon launch, the free Groupon iPhone app determines your current location and displays the Groupon for the city you’re in—or closest to, anyway. You’ll be able to see the time left to purchase the deal, how many have been purchased, important things like how much you save, as well as Groupon’s complete, usually funny, description of the deal. If you have an account, you can purchase Groupons within the iPhone app itself.
The Groupon iPhone app will sync with your account to display all your purchased Groupons, which you can then sort by expiration date, newly purchased or proximity. A handy map feature in the My Groupon section pinpoints the locations you have usable Groupons, so you know if you’re close to a deal. Groupon is also promoting being environmentally friendly by enabling users to redeem Groupons electronically. Travelers will definitely want to pick up the iPhone app, because you can also browse daily Groupons from other cities without having to subscribe to each feed.
Despite Groupon’s usefulness and the convenience of its features, it narrowly misses out on a perfect rating because of some bugs -- I experienced a number of crashes during my first tests. Groupon’s deal descriptions usually include links to outside reviews; however, despite blue link text appearing in-app, tapping them simply launches the purchase window, rather than to an external site. Users who rely on the Groupon iPhone app exclusively will also miss out on the daily side deal, as well as Groupon discussions.