Coupons used to be something your mother and grandmother clipped from the Sunday paper while you watched cartoons growing up, but today they’re serious business. Groupon might not have been the first to start the whole internet coupon phenomenon, but they’re certainly the poster child for the movement, with more clones being created than we care to count. One such clone is “Google Shopper”, which just got updated to version 1.5 for the iPhone, and with it comes a whole new way to save you money. Instead of scrolling through a list of deals available that might be of interest you, which is already cool enough as is, you can now view a map that displays which establishments closest to your present location are offering some sort of sale. Such a feature is sure to make everyone happy, from small business owners who have to compete with big name firms, to consumers who want to buy local and don’t want to have to go all the way across town to get a special price on a dozen donuts from a newly opened bakery. Right now the deals only work in the US and the UK, which means if you’re an indie developer in another country you have the potential to dominate the market if you move fast enough.
Apps like this highlight do a remarkable job at highlighting the type of unique user experiences mobile phones can provide. The use of GPS and cell triangulation to show you where to shop is something that just 5 years ago would have been deemed an impossible feat to accomplish. Now we just have to wait until the day when you can pay for said discounted goods with your mobile phone. Will it happen in 2012 or will we have to wait a bit longer for financial instituions, credit card issuers, and operators to get their shit together?
Just have to wait and see.