For many of us, our smartphone serves less of a purpose as an actual phone and instead, is becoming increasingly more about the services it connects us to and the other gadgets or processes it replaces. We don’t use watches to check the time, we don’t use alarm clocks to wake up in the morning, we don’t use phone books, we don’t write letters on paper, or pull out an atlas for road trips. We don’t carry an MP3 player, digital camera, or day planner anymore, either. All of these things (and more) are part of the device we already carry everywhere we go.
Apple founder Steve Jobs often talked about the place technology has in our lives. He said on multiple occasions that the best implementation of technology is the kind that empowers you to do things, but without requiring a new learned process or behavior.
One thing we can add to that list that wasn’t possible just a few years ago: ordering and paying for food. We’ve talked about Amazon Fresh, the grocery delivery service you can access from your computer, tablet or smartphone, but that’s just the beginning.
Large restaurants and grocery stores are launching new mobile apps that enable you to order and pay with your smartphone.
Already, you can build your perfect Chipotle burrito and pay for it before ever stepping foot in the door. In fact, they’ll have it waiting for you at the register. Talk about grab and go.
Pizza Hut also has a mobile app you can use to craft the perfect pie. Delivery or carry out? Cash or credit? And most importantly, how long until it’s ready? Their mobile apps have you covered.
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Since September, the LifeKraze App has gained more attention and made some improvements. Just today they released updates making the application available for Android users.
The Android platform allows users to share photos or links from any share-enabled application, helping them get in to the “team” aspect of LifeKraze. The Android app will function with several screen sizes, including tablets.
LifeKraze has added updates to the iOS app as well. Those Apple users can navigate on a rebuilt format that includes a new custom photo function with LifeKraze filters. The app is up to 4.5 times faster on the iPhone 4 and 3.5 times faster on the iPhone 5.
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The first step in creating healthier habits is to know your baseline, where you are starting and what areas need the most improvement. “I need to eat healthier” is very vague and does not tell you what to do. When you do know which direction to go, it is important to know the first step and not bite off more than you can chew. Another important step to making a change in your behavior is to track your progress and recognize incremental improvements. If we do not allow ourselves to feel good about the small steps toward improvement that we make, the process can seem overwhelming, and we can be tempted to give up on our goals.
While there are many smartphone apps that can aid in tracking and even some that can make suggestions for improvements, perfect for busy days where taking the time to write down what you are doing and eating is likely to fall to the bottom of your to-do list. While you can start again the next day, many people stop using an app once they have missed a day or two. I am hopeful the new UP bracelet from Jawbone may make the entire process of creating healthier habits easier.
The Jawbone UP is a waterproof wristband, similar in size to a Livestrong band, with embedded sensors that connect to your smartphone to track behaviors such as eating, sleep, and physical activity. It is expected to be released by the end of this year. The free app will track your data and make suggestions for improvement. It sounds like suggestions will be made using the kaizen theory. It sounds really cool that you can input your daily diet by snapping photos of your food, but I wonder how much people will follow through with this. I am also interested to see just how the app works and if it includes push notifications.
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