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New iPhone apps worth downloading: RedLaser and Pixel People updates, Tophatter

by Phil Hornshaw

Today's first app worth downloading can help you save some money. It's RedLaser, the bar code-scanning app that lets you compare prices on products and helps you find deals. Also here to help you save money is Tophatter, an app that lets you step into a virtual auction. Finally, we have an update to Pixel People that greatly expands the management simulation game and gives players lots more clones to find through experimentation.


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RedLaser update (Free)

What’s it about? RedLaser from eBay is a barcode scanner that lets you get the most out of shopping (and the lowest prices) by giving you information what different retailers are charging for products.

What’s cool? RedLaser's latest update helps you find deals by using the power of your iOS device’s GPS to mark which store you're in when you enter, and inform you about any local deals you might be missing. Fire up RedLaser next time you go shopping, and you might think twice before grabbing that shirt or those groceries. The app lets you scan the bar codes of products you have in front of you, then compare prices across lots of different retailers. The app also can be used to read QR codes and other bar code messages, and even store your loyalty cards for various stores.

Who’s it for? If you like saving money when shopping, RedLaser can help you do it, both through price comparisons and by finding deals for you..

What’s it like? Try Price Check by Amazon and ShopSavvy for alternative scanner and price comparison engines.

Tophatter (Free)

What’s it about? Auction app Tophatter allows users to bid in real time in a virtual auction house on items seen on sites such as Etsy, allowing you to get hand-made items at potentially low prices.

What’s cool? Using Tophatter is not unlike stepping into an imaginary digital auction house, complete with cartoon avatars for the crowd, the auctioneer, and the item's seller. Each timed auction allows you to bid along with everyone else, or talk with the group in real time (with your comments displayed as speech bubbles). There are a number of different categories for auctions, and you can scan through what's coming up on the block and let Tophatter send you reminders for when the items you want become available. Each auction also supplies full information about the product, complete with images and details such as shipping information.

Who’s it for? Fans of the kinds of hand-made fare you see on Etsy and nabbing good deals through auctions should try Tophatter.

What’s it like? You can get similar stuff through the dedicated Etsy app, and find more auctions on eBay.

Pixel People update (Free)

What’s it about? Pixel People is a management simulator that has players building and keeping a town running, while populating it with cloned humans who must be combined to discover new jobs.

What’s cool? Technically, Pixel People takes place after Earth has been destroyed and humanity has started rebuilding in space. Your job is to create a new town for the cloned humans by adding buildings and populating them with workers. You find new workers and add more buildings by splicing different sets of genes together – say, mayor genes with assistant genes, or sheriff genes with construction worker genes. Each splice unlocks new jobs, and the latest update to Pixel People throws in some 64 additional clones to find, plus new buildings to unlock. It also adds more new content in the form of animals and other secrets to unlock.

Who’s it for? Management simulation fans will have a great time with (the extremely addictive) Pixel People.

What’s it like? Try Epic Astro Story and The Simpsons: Tapped Out for more fun management-style games.

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