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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

If an iPhone doesn't have good apps, does anyone care if it rings?

(My iPhone, my shag...)
Clearly, you all know I'm an iPhone user. Addict might be a better word at times, I admit it. (Admitting it is the first step, right?) But the truth is, aside from the necessary tasks of email and text messages, I use it for good, not evil. Sure, some might say my non-stop posting of food/drink pictures on Facebook and Twitter is a bit much, but come on's what I do!

The truth is, I've only been an iPhoner for about a year. I was a serious blackberry user before that. And I mean, serious. I often stated I would NEVER switch to the iPhone, as the blackberry was what people who really worked used. I would swoon over my friend's iPhone pics and apps, but refuse to actually figure out how to use a keyboard without keys.

That was until last summer, about a month before our wedding, when my crackberry crapped out. In the last stage of a wedding budget crunch, and clearly unable to NOT have a smartphone, I went with the iPhone because it was actually the cheaper option.

And an iPhone addict was born. A few months later, J made the switch, as well. Between the camera and the apps, it more than makes up for the (sometimes still annoying) keyboard issue. And so, bogarting a recent blog post from the incomparably genius Gini Dietrich, I give you my favorite, food/wine/beer/fun related iPhone must haves, if you will.

Yelp: This is huge for us. We use it all the time, to find restaurants in cities we're visiting (ahem Cleveland, Pittsburgh.) We use it to find late night pizza joints wherever we are. It's also great for the occasional "oh crap where the hell am I again, I need to pick up toilet paper/paper towels/etc before I drive home."

Locavore: I started using this a few months ago and it's amazing. Using your location, it tells you not only what vegetables and fruits are in season and growing right now, but also gives you a map of all your local farms, farmers markets, and places to find the freshest produce. Where we live, there are so many farms and markets, that it's great to be able to know just what farm has what I need! It also gives a list of what foods are about to be in season.

Find Craft Beer: Using your location, this app tells you what craft beer bars are closest to you (or your destination.) I love finding a new craft beer bar, but it will also tell you where local breweries are, as well. Which, for me, is pretty much as epic as it gets.

Smart Chef: This app is so great if you're a cook like me--who often just imagines that you have ingredients in the house. This will give you lists and lists of substitution items for whatever you thought you have but don't! I've used this more than once in recipes.

BigOven: BigOven is, as far as I can tell, the best (free) recipe app. It gives you a huge catalog to look through, and has this phenomenal Leftover Wizard. You enter three items in your fridge, pantry, etc...and it will spit out a bunch of things you'll be able to make.

Shazam: Ok, so this isn't food related in anyway, but it is a lifesaver for me. Actually, it was one of the first apps I downloaded. Hold the phone up when you hear a song you can't place, and within moments you'll (usually) have the artist, title, and more. You have NO idea how many times a day I use this. It's embarrassing.

IMDb: Again, not food related. But J and I get into, um, competitive mode ALL the time about who's right, specifically with actors and movies/shows. This saves us a googling step. When you have an iPhone but live somewhere without 3G capability, saving a step is key.

Fiddme: I only recently downloaded this, but am digging learning more about it. It's like foursquare, but for food! You can post food pics, restaurant recommendations, and vice versa! So now it's not only appropriate to be a foodarazzi, it's encouraged!

Priceline: Anyone who reads this blog or knows me, knows I'm obsessed with I use it all the time, and it's my go to for trips. The iPhone app is awesome to use when you're traveling, especially by car! J and I have used it on long car trips to NY, seeing how far we can get before we need to stop. And then poof! A lovely (not gross) hotel room for half the price.

Hipstamatic: I've been using this camera app since Jazz Fest, when a friend showed us his. I love it. Lots of people love it. It's fun and great for badly lit photo opps. It makes your pics look vintage-like and adds great mood and color. Plus, it makes my food look really great most of the time. The app comes with three lenses and three types of film, but you can shop for more options.


Face Fighter: Ok, this one is terrible. In a good way. Maybe. But in the art of full disclosure, you should know about my dirty, DIRTY little secret. This is an app that a friend showed J and I a few months ago, and we're obsessed. Basically, you can input a photo of someone and, beat them up. Martial Arts style, complete with sound effects and overly exaggerated bruising. It is one of the world's best stress relievers. Literally.

Disclaimer: I HATE paying for apps. The only app on this list that is not free is Hipstamatic (at least, that was the case when I downloaded them.) I will not pay more than $1.99 for an app, and I'd rather not pay anything. You may find other versions of these apps for money, but I wouldn't know. And...this list does NOT include the obvious facebook and twitter apps. :)

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