WORTH A COOK: MAKING AND ORDERING FOOD WITH APPLE DEVICES
MAKING AND ORDERING FOOD WITH APPLE DEVICES
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.
Apple HomePod Special Event in 8 minutes