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(Pocket-lint) - UK chemist Boots has released a timely Christmas application to help make shopping for presents a little easier. Available for iPhone and Android, the Boots Christmas app offers several features to complement both in-store and online shopping - and there's an extra surprise for a loved one, too.

Using the app, you can scan the QR code on a special "Video Gift Tag", available in many of the larger Boots stores. This will then ask you to record your video message using your smartphone, which will play when the recipient points their own smartphone at the QR code the other end.

They can also view the message on the internet. It's a perfect way to wish family or friends happy Christmas no matter where they are.

The Boots Christmas app also offers a Gift List function, which allows users to match gifts to people in their contact list. And there's a Gift Ideas section too, which will suggest presents using set criteria. You can narrow the search using tags, such as "Modern Man", "Male Grooming" and the price, "Under £10" (which, incidentally, suggests Classic Mens Black Socks - a perennial favourite).

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Search functionality will look through the store's entire 3 for 2 Christmas gift range (the cheapest is free), and there's even a barcode scanner so you can register items in store or after you've bought them to go against a name in your Gift List.

Boots Christmas is now available to download from iTunes and Google Play.

Writing by Rik Henderson.