Thursday, July 22, 2010

Second Helping: Technology and Food: Looking at the iPhone Apps

After the article I wrote a couple of weeks ago about Social Media and food, and the revolutionary nature of it as it takes the food world by storm, I've been doing a lot of thinking about technology in general- and a lot of researching as well.  Of course Social Media is absolutely a fascinating topic, and the sheer volume of advertising that can be reached within a few seconds is mind boggling, however, the long arms of "technology" stretch far further than that.  

A few years back Apple released a new kind of cell phone, a cell phone that would completely change the way we looked at such a device.  The iPhone would allow you to basically have your computer at your fingertips, in your pocket, all in a sleek little device.  Surfing the web while on the train became infinitely easier, as did loading maps and other tools.  Even better though, the iPhone came with "apps"- applications that could provide direct links to news, weather, traffic, financial updates, as well as sports, entertainment, and even games.  I remember watching the press conference announcing this new device and knowing the world was changing.

Now there are several editions of the iPhone released, and the list of applications that can be accessed from it seems to grow daily.  I'm not telling you anything you didn't already know.  The Apple iPhone isn't news to anyone- however the sheer number of things that you can use it to do is simply crazy, and it seems that everything is automatically made simpler.

Of course, that includes feeding that hungry body of yours!  Whether you're looking for a simple recipe, or a great place to dine- the iPhone has it all.  Applications by Martha Stewart, Tyler Florence, Jamie Oliver, or others can be instantly accessed and a delicious recipe chosen based on mood, or even just what you have in your fridge.  There are apps to help you determine what cut of meat you need to buy at the butcher, and of course how to prepare it.  Even more so there are apps to help find great restaurants, and how to snag a table the same day.

Last week though, I was introduced to an all new kind of app...one that combines all of the things you want to do in life into one great spot.  CityRover originally started in New York, but is now launching Boston as it's second city.  At first glance- it looks like just another spot to look up restaurants, but it is so much more than that!  Yes- you can sort restaurants by type, even going beyond the standard "Italian", "French", "Open Late" adjectives and can drill into "romantic, "social," or "relaxed".  So in essence, with CityRover you can find the best spot for what you desire, not the labels someone else has determined for it.  Once you find the location you're looking for- well then you can call the restaurant directly to make a reservation, connect to their website, find its exact location, even send a note to your friends to meet you there.  Technology networking at it's best right?

Maybe you're a little more high maintenance than that (hey-there's nothing wrong with it!) and you want your dining location to fit a few different needs- maybe you want a sports bar, that serves great food, and still has a cozy vibe?  CityRover allows you to search on several criteria to be sure you find the perfect spot.  And when you find that spot- let me know!  Its a tough one!  In fact though, CityRover will do you one better- say you've just had a rough day at the office and all you want to do is relax?  Filter based on mellow, or laid back- and a whole new list of results will pop up.

Another portion of CityRover that I really enjoy is that they are focused on the "local" spots.  So many other applications will pop up your generic eateries, which shall remain nameless here, but you know the ones- the ones that all look the same, and serve the same food here, or in Boise, Idaho.  CityRover wants no part of those generic spots though- they are concentrating on places that are creative, inventive, and tied to the neighborhoods.  The spots that the locals rave about, and tourists WANT to know about.  

Though I am, of course, concentrating more on the "food" minded side of CityRover, the developers didn't.  My favorite non food feature?  Say you want to take a walk to burn off some of those calories-no problem!  CityRover can show you some of the best walking tours in the city- and even include and audio tour for them!  You can turn the city of Boston into your own museum.  Good stuff!

That is really the amazing part about technology lately -it has the ability to show us the world in any number of different mediums.  By trading photos, viewing restaurants, finding hidden pathways, or providing score updates from crowded stadiums, technology is connecting us all.  It can be a bit daunting to think about, but with apps like CityRover, well they are making it all a bit more manageable.      

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Thanks for the tip. I hadn't heard of this App and look forward to using it.

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