WORTH A COOK: MAK­ING AND ORDER­ING FOOD WITH AP­PLE DE­VICES

MAK­ING AND ORDER­ING FOOD WITH AP­PLE DE­VICES

Apple Magazine - - Summary - By Ben­jamin Kerry & Gavin Le­naghan

Many of our read­ers likely fondly re­mem­ber when, in early 2016, Ap­ple de­buted an iPhone 6s screen com­mer­cial in which that Sesame Street fa­vorite, Cookie Mon­ster, used the de­vice in his at­tempt to bake a batch of suc­cu­lent cook­ies. Par­tic­u­larly high­lighted was the abil­ity to ac­ti­vate Siri in a hands-free man­ner sim­ply by ut­ter­ing “Hey Siri”, with Cookie Mon­ster us­ing this fea­ture to set a timer. Still, this is hardly even a hint of the true ex­tent to which Ap­ple de­vices can help us in our culi­nary ef­forts.

YUM’S THE WORD WITH THESE RECIPE APPS

Much of the valu­able func­tion­al­ity of an iPhone for chefs - novice and vet­eran alike - is, of course, in its apps. The mo­bile app rev­o­lu­tion cer­tainly hasn’t left the kitchen un­touched; down­load the right apps and you could be de­lighted to see how eas­ily your iPhone can re­place that musty­look­ing print cook­book you prob­a­bly rou­tinely pull off the shelf when­ever you want to make some­thing spe­cial. Apps can not only pro­vide a huge se­lec­tion of recipes but also help you choose be­tween them.

An es­pe­cially good case in point is Oh She

Glows. This app pro­vides over 95 recipes for peo­ple who fa­vor plant-based cui­sine. In fact, the meal op­tions here can be as good for your health as they are on your eyes; gazpacho, cheesy lentil bolog­nese casse­role and but­ter­nut squash “mac ‘n cheeze” are just some of the op­tions. If you are still in­ex­pe­ri­enced with cook­ing, you can nar­row them down with the “Quick + Easy” search fil­ter; mean­while, the “Kid Friendly” fil­ter could be very use­ful for fam­i­lies.

Still, the choice of recipes here is sig­nif­i­cantly dwarfed by that of BigOven, an app which has over 350,000 in its repos­i­tory. It’s the kind of stag­ger­ing choice that could leave you wrecked with in­de­ci­sive­ness; how­ever, if you have friends and fam­ily who could give you some pearls of wis­dom, in­vite them to use BigOven’s so­cial fea­ture. This will en­able you to read­ily see what those peo­ple are cook­ing up, turn­ing BigOven into some­thing closer to a Pin­ter­est for food­ies.

All of that’s great, but what if you would sim­ply pre­fer a so­phis­ti­cated search en­gine - rather

like Google, ex­cept that it fo­cuses on recipes and lets you quickly find the ones best-suited to spe­cific oc­ca­sions? You can get some­thing a lot like this with Yummly. Want a burger that re­mains rel­a­tively diet-friendly? Worry that you could in­ad­ver­tently select a recipe for a meal that would flare up an al­lergy? Yummly lets you search hun­dreds of recipes while ac­count­ing for such needs.

DON’T TAKE THE CAKE - TAKE THE COOKIE IN­STEAD

In re­cent years, Ap­ple has been push­ing its vir­tual per­sonal as­sis­tant, Siri, more and more as an in­te­gral part of Ap­ple de­vices. This begs the ques­tion: Why don’t we take a leaf out of Cookie Mon­ster’s cook­book, so to say, and ask

Siri for help? In­deed, it’s heart­en­ing that, when mak­ing food, we can call Siri into ac­tion in ways that don’t even re­quire us to touch our de­vice’s screen. This is es­pe­cially straight­for­ward with re­cent de­vices, but can still work with older ones as well.

Firstly, make sure that “Hey Siri” func­tion­al­ity is en­abled on your iPhone or iPad. You just need to go into Set­tings and then the Siri sec­tion, where you will find the rel­e­vant switch. If your de­vice has at least an A9 pro­ces­sor, you now only have to say “Hey Siri” within your de­vice’s hear­ing range to get Siri’s at­ten­tion. This is also pos­si­ble with iPhones or iPads that have an A8 pro­ces­sor or older; how­ever, the de­vice must be charg­ing for the “Hey Siri” fea­ture to work.

The hands-free func­tion­al­ity can prove in­cred­i­bly use­ful once you have got re­ally stuck in, but wa­ter, cookie dough or an­other food mix­ture on your hands pre­vents you quickly us­ing your phone in the more con­ven­tional way. Fol­low­ing Cookie Mon­ster’s ex­am­ple of set­ting a timer, for ex­am­ple, is easy; just say “Hey Siri, set timer for 10 min­utes” - or what­ever other amount of time you fa­vor. You can even have more than one timer run­ning at once if you have mul­ti­ple de­vices in the kitchen. Siri can wel­come an ar­ray of cook­ing-re­lated queries, too. Can’t re­mem­ber the num­ber of ta­ble­spoons in a quart? Un­sure what tem­per­a­ture would be safe for your tur­key? Need to sub­sti­tute but­ter­milk in a par­tic­u­lar recipe? Siri is ca­pa­ble of help­ing you on all of these is­sues, says Boomer Web School. When asked, Siri can also eas­ily read out a recipe, pro­vided that you have placed the rel­e­vant text try to omit un­nec­es­sary in­tro­duc­tory text - into a note in the Notes app.

HOMEPOD IS WHERE MORE COOK­ING PO­TEN­TIAL IS

Of course, all of this func­tion­al­ity will also be pos­si­ble with the HomePod, which is set for re­tail re­lease on Feb­ru­ary 9. Con­nected to your iPhone, the HomePod will be able to not only cre­ate notes but also set re­minders - hey, maybe there’s a par­tic­u­lar in­gre­di­ent that you could too eas­ily for­get to buy oth­er­wise - and send mes­sages. The last of those could be es­pe­cially use­ful if some­one is try­ing to get through to you, but you can’t prac­ti­cally pick up your phone straight away.

An­other rea­son why you might want to place a HomePod in your kitchen is the smart speaker’s in­te­gra­tion with HomeKit. This home au­to­ma­tion frame­work lets its users ac­ti­vate “scenes”, some of which could be par­tic­u­larly time-ef­fec­tive dur­ing a cook­ery ses­sion. Per­haps you would like to, with the is­su­ing of just one voice com­mand, switch on your kitchen lights and cof­fee maker si­mul­ta­ne­ously? This is a very real pos­si­bil­ity with HomePod and the right HomeKit ac­ces­sories.

HOME, A DRONE: FOOD DE­LIV­ERY’S PRESENT AND FU­TURE

There might still be times when your cook­ery ef­forts veer so far off course that you are led to ask: “Hey Siri, where can I have food de­liv­ered?” You might al­ready ha­bit­u­ally use apps to or­der food that will be de­liv­ered to your home ad­dress, ef­fec­tively mak­ing the well-worn phrase “go­ing out for din­ner” only half nec­es­sary. Even the ride-shar­ing firm Uber has en­tered the mar­ket; with the com­pany’s Uber Eats app, you can or­der from a nearby res­tau­rant and ex­pect de­liv­ery in min­utes.

How­ever, while the Uber Eats ser­vice is avail­able in many of the United States’ ma­jor pop­u­la­tion cen­ters, you might pre­fer to use Grub­hub if you live some­where more re­mote. Its avail­abil­ity ex­tends to over 1,200 US cities and, like Uber

Eats, this ser­vice lets you search for lo­cal res­tau­rants. You can even search by food type; put “tacos”, for ex­am­ple, into that search field to see what comes up. The app also in­te­grates Ap­ple Pay at the check­out stage, mak­ing even pay­ing for or­ders speedy.

Food de­liv­er­ies could be­come even more con­ve­nient for cus­tomers in a not-too-dis­tant fu­ture. Ford has re­cently launched a re­search pro­ject with Domino’s Pizza to in­ves­ti­gate how food could be ef­fec­tively de­liv­ered by self­driv­ing ve­hi­cles. Hav­ing your food dis­patched by a drone doesn’t have to seem too out­landish, ei­ther; in Novem­ber 2016, Domino’s and Flirtey col­lab­o­rated in send­ing a drone to drop off a pizza de­liv­ery or­der at a New Zealand home.

Mean­while, that same year, Ama­zon tested drone de­liv­er­ies for the first time, al­beit with only two cus­tomers in the United King­dom. In the US, drone de­liv­ery tests have been re­stricted by the Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion’s rule re­quir­ing pi­lots to stay ca­pa­ble of see­ing drones when fly­ing them. Hence, it has been im­pos­si­ble for busi­nesses to test long-dis­tance drone de­liv­er­ies. How­ever, drones could save on ship­ping costs and, thus, prices - giv­ing this emerg­ing trend a promis­ing fu­ture.

Im­age: Matt Haas

Ap­ple HomePod Spe­cial Event in 8 min­utes

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