App Wrap: "Fooducate," "StreetEats," "Crowd Beacon"
NY1 highlights the coolest and newest apps for your cell phone or mobile device in the twice-weekly segment “App Wrap.” NY1’s Adam Balkin filed the following report.
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Many of us see certain buzz words on our food packaging like "organic," "all-natural," "no preservatives" and just assume it's good for us. Well the "Fooducate" app will help point out that while some of those foods may be healthier than others in the same species of food items, that doesn't necessarily mean they're good for you. How the app works, you scan the barcode on the box and within a couple seconds up comes a grade. It's not entirely clear how the grades are determined. Developers say on their website there are algorithms that weigh nutrients, ingredients, and the processing. There is though information below each item on why it's good and why it's bad. The app also offers up some healthier alternatives, or there's a compare feature that lets you scan two products side by side. Developers insist this is in no way a rock solid way of rating all foods but rather a guide to encourage you to look a little more closely at labels. "Fooducate" is right now an iPhone only app and it's free.
When it comes to eating out, there are dozens of apps that help you choose the best spot, but "StreetEats" helps you find street vendors, food trucks near where you happen to be standing. Vendors who sign up simply put their weekly schedule in there so that you'll know where they'll be and when. You can also go in and do a search for your favorite truck to see where it'll be on any particular day. And even though there are nearly two dozen cities in there, one of the big knocks online right now about it is that the only city where enough vendors have signed up at the moment to make it work is New York. And though "StreetEats" is right now just an iPhone app for free, most phones can also access the maps via the mobile web on their device by logging in to www.LoveStreetEats.com.
And "Crowd Beacon" is a new app that helps you find whatever it is you're look for via the crowd around you. You can type in a specific question about what you're looking for, like the best chicken salad near where you are then send it off and if someone has a suggestion, they shoot it back, while you're waiting relevant suggestions from more traditional players in this space pop up like Yelp or FourSquare. And if you're feeling helpful, you can also answer a question someone else has posted. "Crowd Beacon" is a free app right now just for the iPhone.