The future of eating out is on your phone — are you in?
The new iPhone operating system, iOs 10, is here. With it comes a slew of tasty new food features that'll make getting your hands on some grub easier than ever.
The most groundbreaking innovation is being able to use apps from within iMessage.
OpenTable and Yelp both have new apps that can be accessed in iMessage and used in texts between two people or groups.
Making reservations with your friends made easier
With OpenTable, you can finally end the non-stop back-and-forth that accompanies trying to find a restaurant (ugh, my blood pressure skyrockets just thinking about that) by sending a list of several restaurant recommendations to your friends at once, then having them vote for their faves without leaving the text conversation. Once the votes are tallied and you've decided where to go, you can book your table from within iMessage itself.
Search and share Yelp in iMessage
With the Yelp app, you can also share recently viewed restaurants and business with people in iMessage instead of having to send links back and forth. You can also begin a new restaurant search right in iMessage using the Yelp app.
Both of these apps are free, and I think they'll make coordinating plans with friends, from brunch to dinner to a night at the club, much easier (especially the OpenTable voting system, which I could have used about 10 years ago).
On a less organizational note, with the updated iMessage, you can also download new food stickers.
Some of them cost money, but the free ones available are pretty great. Food52 has a batch of super-cute free stickers that include a stand mixer, pour-over coffee, clinking glasses of rosé and more. You can get Whole Foods, Dunkin' Donuts, Burger King, Coca-Cola and Starbucks sticker sets free too. So when you've had one too many martinis the night before and want to beg your friend to bring you a coffee, you can send a Starbucks emoji as your SOS signal and not have to try to get your fingers to type actual words. Sounds good to me!
We use our phones for everything, and my friends and I always text, rather than email, our plans. The new integration of all things food within iMessage is going to make our lives a hell of a lot easier. And in the meantime, let's take a moment of silence to remember all of the friendships ruined over heated debates about where to eat dinner. With the new iMessage, hopefully such losses will be a thing of the past.