Dougal Campbell's geek ramblings

WordPress, web development, and world domination.

Wanted: Cross-platform mobile shopping list app

Okay Lazyweb, help me find what I’m looking for. I want a mobile shopping/todo list app that my wife and I can both use to keep shared lists. I’ve got an iPhone, Susan has a Blackberry Curve — it should be easy to use on either of those devices. And of course, we’d want to be able to edit our lists via our desktop web browsers, as well.

It should:

  • support multiple lists
  • support sharing lists between multiple people
  • make it super easy to check off items
  • be able to sync the latest list updates from anywhere
  • be easy to use on iPhone, Blackberry, or any web browser
  • be inexpensive

It doesn’t have to have (but could):

  • support store-specific lists
  • be aware of what aisle items are on
  • support recipe ingredient lists or meal planning functions
  • support item categories within lists

I looked at a few list applications for the iPhone in the App Store, and I did some searches on the general intarwebs, but the apps I found all fell down in some way. The usual failing was that they didn’t support (or at least didn’t make it clear that it would support) sharing lists between people, or weren’t cross-platform.

Is anybody out there aware of such an app? Given my failure to locate one myself, I’m inclined to think that either 1) my Google-fu was weak that day, 2) the app I’m looking for exists but needs better SEO (this is what I suspect), 3) developers of the existing list apps aren’t doing a good job of highlighting all of their features (which I also suspect), or 4) there is an opening in that market space that would be pretty easy to fill. If I thought I could spare the time, I’d try to develop a service like that, myself.

About Dougal Campbell

Dougal is a web developer, and a "Developer Emeritus" for the WordPress platform. When he's not coding PHP, Perl, CSS, JavaScript, or whatnot, he spends time with his wife, three children, a dog, and a cat in their Atlanta area home.
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21 Responses to Wanted: Cross-platform mobile shopping list app

  1. C.Fred says:

    Is local better than web-based? What about a service like Remember The Milk? The only thing that might be an issue is the sharing of lists and modifying them. I use it for simple shopping reminders. (I maintain longer shopping lists via

  2. Wasn’t sure where to post this. But did you know some versions of your feed have a 1999 date on things?

    Eg, although this one is dated correctly on the site, in the feed I’ve been using it looks like this:
    Wanted: Cross-platform mobile shopping list app Nov 30, ’99, 12:00 AM

    This version seems to have the wrong date (no trailing slash):

    Where as this one is right (trailing slash):

  3. Dougal says:

    @malcolm Yes, I was aware of that. I’m still not sure what’s been causing it, as I haven’t been able to duplicate it in a test environment. It *could* be one of the plugins I have installed causing it. I went ahead and manually fixed the timestamps in my database for all of the affected posts, but that’s unlikely to affect RSS items which have already been cached elsewhere.

    Interesting observation about the difference between the feed URL with and without the trailing slash. Not sure what that’s about…

  4. Pingback: Wanted: Cross-platform mobile shopping l …

  5. Pingback: Los Cuatro Ojos » Dougal’s Looking For A Software App.. Can You Help?

  6. Rainer says:

    I recommend the Google collaboration tools. It’s not a mobile shopping list app but it’s (among others) a spreadsheet app that can by shared and automatically synchronizes.
    You just need to agree with your wife about how to use the spreadsheet…

    Meets all of your “it should” points – you’ll find it on, what do you think?

  7. Ross Easton says:

    @malcolm/dougal: It’s the Y2K bug coming back to haunt. 🙂

    I share C.Fred’s idea – Remember the Milk’s a pretty nifty service. It supports iPhone (see here:, Blackberry (, Twitter ( and generally just by logging on through your browser ( R

  8. Jason says:

    Found this post via a Google search trying to track down the same thing. Lists that can be edited at home, on a BB, and on an iPhone.

    Finally ran into this site:

    Meets all your requirements, except…

    * be aware of what aisle items are on – You can either do this w/ categories or notes
    * support recipe ingredient lists or meal planning functions – Lacks this function

    Other thing I did notice was that the BB page didn’t give me the option to add, only view and check off.

  9. anne says:

    did you check

  10. Paul says:

    I just developed a website that allows people to do a google-like search on stores to find items and their aisles. It is free for anyone to do a search. The data is user-maintained. You need a membership to add items to stores and create shopping lists. There is a subscription, but for a limited time I have a link on the site that allows people to request a free lifetime subscription. The site is new and needs people to enter data in order for it to look impressive. I’m looking for ideas to make it better too. I hope it can serve you. The site is

  11. Josh says:

    My girlfriend and I just send emails back and forth updating our lists as necessary using the forwarding function.

    That is one way you two can exchange lists cross platform.

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  13. heather says:

    I just came across this post, and although it’s an old one, I thought I’d comment anyway. I just released an application called Skudoink ( that does everything you mention. Yes, everything – although, right now, sharing is done from the web application via email (you email the selected list to someone). There is no iPhone app, but there is a Windows Mobile standalone application which will synchronise with the web version. iPhone app will be coming soon if this gets off the ground. The WM version is in private beta right now. The web version is completely free, however. It also has a smart list feature that tells you what you need to buy without having to check the pantry. I’d go through everything here but the site will explain much better what and how it works. Individual aisle markers will be coming soon. I’d love for you to try it out!

  14. Adam says:

    OurGroceries syncs between iphone users. Did you try that? It seems to work very well for my wife and I. For general note syncing between iphone users I use Notespark which supports push notifications about changes.

  15. Andrew says:

    This was really cool application but had never tried this.Does anyone have tried this service and want to share more ideas about this service?

  16. retag says:

    Many thanks to Ross Easton! for this useful link ( was looking for a decent support for your phone from blackberry

  17. Amazing Article Man, hats off to you Clash of Kings Hack

  18. Battlefield Hardline says:
  19. themoon766 says:

    That is one way you two can exchange lists cross platform.

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