We’ve been using our phones to seamlessly network with digital information and content for what seems like ages. A big development this past year has been our tiny handheld computers helping us accomplish increasingly tangible tasks. Now the capability to instantly find a restaurant, a ride there, and even a date to bring rests permanently in our pockets. If you aren’t using these three apps to simplify and improve upon your day to day life, it’s time to catch up to the rest of us living in the future:
Lyft: Connecting people with cars to people who needs rides. Lyft automates and improves on the entire process of summoning a cab. There’s no need to stand in the street to hail a driver or be forced to tip a Bluetooth-wearing, cigarette smoking cabbie 20% just because you wanted to pay with a card. Lyft automatically shares your location with a driver, provides live GPS tracking of your ride on the way to pick up, then determines and pays a donation for your “friend with a ride.”
The ridesharing app outdoes competitor #1 Uber with friendliness, affordability, and better branding. If you haven’t seen the video of Conan, Ice Cube and Kevin Hart rolling around LA in a Lyft, watch it now. It merges around competitor #2 Sidecar by having less socially awkward drivers (my last Sidecar ride was spent listening to disc 9 of the driver’s self help audio book). It also doesn’t hurt that their cars often pack phone chargers, water bottles, and snacks, or that many of the cars are tricked out like the infamous DiscoLyft. If you’re at A and need to get to B, Lyft it.
Yelp: It’s nice to be able to type into your phone anything from “Burrito” to “French-Thai Fusion” and unveil all the relevant/local restaurants within the area that can assist you in your dietary needs. Despite rising to popularity on the back of restaurant reviewing system Yelp applies to every business you interact with on a day to day basis. In an instant, you can assess the location, quality, and cost of whatever service you need. That barber does crappy haircuts but for 10 dollars, who cares? My car window just got smashed? Good thing I have contact information for the twenty best auto-glass repair services.
Yelp’s value isn’t limited to the surface knowledge of your surroundings it provides, it’s true value lies in the depth of information it makes available. When searching for food in a foreign area, not only can you find out where the highest rated restaurant is located, but you can make sure you get the local favorite dishes and drinks from the Quick Tips listed by users. The yellow pages were dying, but Yelp really stepped on their throats this last year.
Tinder: By turning online dating into a casual and fun game, Tinder has taken away a small amount of the stigma associated with the practice. Some people might think it’s strange to sift through a pile of pictures of the opposite gender in an extravaganza of “Hot Vs Not” decisions. They’re probably right. However in this year of #selfies, Netflix Binges, and Google Glass, evidence shows that using Tinder is becoming rapidly more popular/socially acceptable.
This new ad for the platform represents everything the company is striving to achieve. Beautiful people that met on the internet getting together to have adventures in conveniently scenic locations. There are similar apps such as Coffee Meets Bagel, which focuses on offering a single profile each day, and Hinge which works by sourcing singles from amongst the friends of your Facebook friends, but no imitators have managed to get a “like swipe” from similarly large audience.