If you live in Manhattan, a new app called PRIV will send beauty, fitness, or wellness pros right to your apartment within an hour. Through PRIV, you can request a personal trainer, yoga instructor, masseuse, hairstylist, manicurist or aspray-tanning pro to pay a house call (or even visit your office). Essentially, it’s like the Uber of beauty and fitness. Where was this service during all my high school sleepovers? Considering how far ahead I have to call to get a hair appointment in New York, this app is a potential lifesaver. I keep daydreaming about how nice it would be to ring up a manicurist and have my nails done while I sit on the couch watching Netflix, or have a yoga instructor pay me a visit when I’m in a funk. Scrolling through the app is like looking at a shopping list of available certified professionals in your vicinity. The pros have profiles posted that share their work history and talents, and service is available 24/7. The app itself is free, and each service has a set price listed when you choose it, including tip, which is a far cry from that awkward moment at the end of a salon appointment when you find out a surprise fee has been tacked onto your bill. PRIV intends to expand beyond Manhattan to the rest of New York City shortly (come visit me in Brooklyn, PRIV!), and services will be available in San Francisco, LA and Miami by 2015. Sounds like a sweet deal to me. New Yorkers, have any of you tried it? [PRIV]
I’m a late adopter so I didn’t download the Kim Kardashian game app, “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood,” until this weekend, a move I quickly began to sort of regret, as it is quite possibly the most addictive yet utterly pointless and unchallenging game ever created. I don’t even want to tell you how late I was up playing it on Sunday night. Okay, fine, I’ll tell you. THREE IN THE MORNING. Basically, the point of the game is to go from E-list to A-list celebrity by performing a variety of “tasks,” earning and spending money, growing fans and followers and building buzz through social media and networking. You do all that by tapping shit that appears on your iPhone screen. I wish I could say it was more complicated. I wish I could say that all that tapping is so boring that you’re inclined to just delete the game after 15 minutes. But that would not be true, because again, I was up until 3 a.m. playing it. In fact, I’m thinking about it right now, wondering if I should expect a call from Kim soon inviting me to her house in Beverly Hills. Luckily, only getting a few hours of shut-eye wasn’t for naught. See, “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood” exposes some bitter, depressing truths about real life. For example… Keep reading »
An upcoming bracelet and app called the Pavlok will help you change your habits by giving you an electric shock when you fail at them. You get to choose the habit you’d like to work on, like spending too much time on the internet, going to the gym, losing hard-earned cash, or getting up at a certain time in the morning. Then you get to set a consequence to hold yourself accountable, which can range from Pavlok posting embarrassing stuff on your on Facebook wall, vibrations from your bracelet, losing hard-earned cash, or even a 340V electric shock. As the Pavlok’s promotional video says, there are so many self-improvement devices on the market that don’t really work, so “what if we get a device that changes behavior?”
Spoiler alert: the other products didn’t work because people change their own behavior. Keep reading »
It’s a special day. Pikinis, an app that syncs with your Facebook friends list and allows you to search exclusively for bikini pics, is now available for download.
According to the app’s creator, Ted Kramer, Pikinis is for both men and women who want to see those they desire is a state of partial undress. But that’s very clearly bullshit — this app is for looking at girls. It even has a fun “pineapple” feature that allows you to “pineapple” a pic for later — that is, to save it. So you can look at it, um, you know … later. When you’re alone. Keep reading »
[Said in the voice of a petulant teenager:] ”Thanks, Starbucks, for taking over my life EVEN MORE.”
The ‘bux announced last week that it’s making your fast food coffee experience even easier: you will soon be able to preorder your drinks and pay via an app, according to the tech blog Recode. Just like hailing a cab with Uber or ordering sushi over Seamless, coffee jerks can save time by paying for a coffee ahead of time and avoiding lines. The company is testing the process at an “undisclosed location” and will eventually bring it nationwide. I could see myself downloading the app, but use it only when I’m in a rush. (And I’m not that important to ever really be in a rush.) Part of what I like about Starbucks is it being a “third place” in addition to work and home. It’s a reason to get out of the office for a 10-minute break in the afternoon and stretch my legs. It’s about the short walk, the music, the socializing. The app sounds useful for, say, personal assistants in a rush to please their boss, but for me, I’m happy to take my time. Within reason, of course. [Recode]
You know that moment when you’re telling your friend about the dream you had last night and her eyes start to glaze over? There’s an app for that. Enter DreamSphere, an app that wants to hear your navel-gazing about how last night you dreamed your best friend morphed into a purple octopus. DreamSphere prompts you to record the symbols in your dreams when you wake up, explains what they mean, and shows you on a map where others are dreaming about the same thing. It also studies patterns in your dreams over time to analyze parts of your waking personality, like how assertive, anxious or confident you are. Not surprisingly, I’m kind of obsessed with it. Keep reading »
Nature, you sexy beast. This timelapse video of various flowers blooming — including my beloved PEONY, which is in season right now, YIPPPPPEEEEE — is downright sensual and I NEVER use that word. It’s actually from 2009 and is promotion for a cool-seeming app called Bloomclock which shows the passage of time via the blooming of various flowers. Puttin’ it on my download list! [Bloomclock via YouTube]
Does the thought of missing Mr. Bojangles’ adorably pawing at shadows on the wall give you social anxiety? Kittyo, an intriguing/obnoxious new app, will allow you to hang out with your cat via iPhone remote control when you’re not home.
Kittyo features a webcam for owners to check in on their cats, a remote-controlled laser pointer for playing, and a treat dispenser. “Pet parents” can even talk to their pets from afar — all of it controlled through a smartphone. Keep reading »
Doughbot is the stuff the American Dream is made of: for only 99 cents, you can have at your fingertips access to the exact location of any and all doughnut sellers near you. I don’t love paying for apps, but sometimes you just need a fix, you know? The app works by scanning Instagram, Yelp and Yahoo and determining which artisanal doughnut is within the shortest distance of your current location. Yes, the word “artisanal” makes me sigh heavily in most contexts too (I live in Brooklyn, so it happens a lot), but we must acknowledge that artisanal doughnuts are more delicious than your run-of-the-mill franchise pastry. Doughbot understands the importance of quality artery-crushing treats without bringing a snooty attitude to the party. Their promo video is way too cheerful for food snobs. Can I swim in doughnuts like their little cartoon robot does? Someone sign me up! [Gothamist]