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Calling all product developers and magicians.
After an evening of worrying over the future of our country's leadership followed by seeing Pablo Escobar get away again, I needed to wake up and hear some good news. Turns out, Oscar Mayer has released an app (Sizzl) that "connects users with other bacon lovers nationwide" according to a review by TIME. Nevermind that this is apparently how we define "news" nowadays, nor that it did little to lift my spirits—the ridiculousness of it got our editors thinking about the food apps that we wish existed. And THAT was fun.
What we learned through this exercise is that we're a really lazy very hopeful lot. Here are the apps we really do wish existed, and a few that we dared to dream about.
- Coffeeinate: an app that allows you to order a coffee from your favorite barista, pay for it through the app, then walk into the coffee shop and have it waiting to swipe off the counter. —me
- The Fennel Detector: an app that saves you from eating foods you loathe (or are "allergic" to). Hold your phone over any food to scan for contaminant (like fennel) so you don't mistakenly eat it. Settings allow you to customize for testing widely disliked foods such as cilantro and gluten. —Sarah Jampel
- Breathy: distinguished by a meter that tracks from "Don't Do It!" to "Makeout," this app will allow you to breathe into your phone and see how bad your breath smells like garlic, onions, or tuna fish. —anonymous
- Shop Map: maps out the shortest route to what you need in the grocery store based on your inputted grocery list. Saves time and feelings of insanity as you go back to the same aisle five times for different things. —Ali Slagle
- One Dumpling: an app that delivers you just 1 dumpling, wherever you are, for when you're not very hungry but sill want a dumpling; sister app One Scallion Pancake does the same for scallion pancakes. —Madeline Muzzi & Caroline Lange
- Lineo: choose any restaurant, coffee shop, or Trader Joe's well-priced grocery store in your vicinity and view the status of the line or the average time of the current wait, without calling and speaking to someone who is going to lie to you anyway. —Ali Slagle
- Chooser: an app for helping you decide what recipe to make from a cookbook. Open the app and see how many people have made which recipes from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (and what their results were!) so that it's easier to choose! —Sarah Jampel
- The Secret Spotter: an app that tells you when you're getting close to a hard-to-find, locals-only, word-of-mouth type place that never shows up in the right spot on a map (imagine a kind motherly voice telling you excitedly: "You're getting warmer! Even warmer!") —Lindsay-Jean Hard
- Hotty: turns your phone into a tiny heater that will keep your coffee warm for longer; doubles as a hand-warmer on cold days (and that will make you feel less bad about holding onto your phone even when it's in your pocket because you're so attached to it). —Ali Slagle
- The Spice: an app that will keep track of all of your spices so that you don't end up with 3 bottles of cinnamon and 5 bottles of red pepper flakes because you always think you're out. —Caroline Lange
- Dubious Rewards: this app chooses a workout for you and then suggests a beer to drink afterwards (since experts say that beer is a good recovery drink). —Taylor Rondestvedt
- Pantreater: an app that would tell you which recipes from a cookbook you could make based on the ingredients you already have in your house. —Caroline Lange
- You Cheap: app that tells you where to find TK item (okay, mostly breakfast cereal) on sale at grocery stores. As in, where can I get the $3.99 box of Puffins as opposed to the $5.99 supermarket price? —Sarah Jampel
- Avocadwoes: scan in a picture of an avocado and this app will tell you if it has any brown spots, is perfect for consumption, needs 2 days and 1 1/2 hours to ripen, or is better off pickled. Can be set, alternatively, to tell you when certain produce will go bad. —me & Sam Weiss-Hills
- Eat it Anyway: an app that encourages you when you try something new in the kitchen: "That looks right, of course you were supposed to fold it that way!" "No, no, that's great, I like the charred bits!" —Lindsay-Jean Hard
- Slimdr: dating apps that show ONLY the people who are in the same restaurant or bar as you. So: That guy across the room? Let technology help you with that. —Kenzi Wilbur
What food apps do you long for? (No rules here.) Let us know in the comments!