No matter what your feelings toward tech, there are some services that so clearly respond to common situations experienced by us all that we’d be amiss not to embrace them. Below we explore the top 5 new technologies or services that we can no longer remember living without.
GET YOUR GROCERIES DELIVERED
Don’t get us wrong, Uber Eats and Skip the Dishes are great, but sometimes nothing compares to a healthy home-cooked meal. But who really wants to spend their weekends navigating the isles of crowded grocery stores? Enter Instacart. This handy app allows you to have groceries delivered right to your home. Great for creatures of habit who can schedule weekly deliveries for the same time every week and manage their grocery list in-app, or the unprepared, who finds themselves with an unexpected head cold and no grub or Buckley’s to help combat it – the service will have a can of chicken soup and your choice of cold meds on your doorstep in as little as one hour.
Bargain hunters and coupon clippers will be happy too; Instacart’s yearly membership option gives you access to free delivery on items from multiple stores, meaning you can grab that olive oil on-sale from Store A and half-price frozen berries from Store B without making multiple trips or paying more in shipping. Still in the early phases, having only launched Toronto-wide a few months ago, Instacart’s current grocery stores are limited, but with their growing popularity we’re confident many more stores will be on board soon.
SUBSCRIBE TO THE THINGS YOU NEED
Everyone from the time-crunched family to the workaholic bachelor will appreciate never having to worry that their most frequently used items will run out. Toothpaste, paper towel, dish soap; running out of these items sucks, and is a headache 99% of the population can relate to. That’s why we welcome subscription services. From Amazon to Wal-Mart, these vendors are recognizing the consumer need and reacting to it. You can now subscribe to receive products monthly, and then forget all about it until it shows up on your doorstep, usually just in the knick time. Best part? Most vendors offer a subscription discount to sweeten the deal, so you can save anywhere from 5% to 15% off the items you need to buy anyway.
HAVE YOUR OWN VIRTUAL ASSISTANCE
Perhaps the number one new tech accessory in the last year , voice-activated technology like Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa and Echo have become hugely popular as so many homes are now happily in a long-term relationship with their virtual assistant. These nearly invisible and sleek pieces of tech are on virtually all the time responding to your voice and assisting with everything from settling debates and turning off the lights to reading out recipes when your hands are full. You can use it in tandem with the subscription services mentioned above too, helping you keep track of what you’re running out of and ordering you more with just a quick command. For those who find themselves late for everything, a virtual assistant can remind you of your schedule, coupled with real-time data like weather conditions and traffic delays so you’re prepared for the day ahead.
NEVER FORGET YOUR WALLET
How many times have you left the house without your wallet but brought your phone? For most of us going out without our Smartphone feels like we left behind a limb, but we blissfully forget our other important items like debit cards, sunglasses and ID. Services like Apple’s virtual wallet help solve the issue by housing your most-used cards and other personal items right on our phone. Tap your phone to pay for coffee and even house important documents like your boarding pass.
PAY FOR PARKING AND TRANSIT
We’ve all rushed our way through the end of a dinner or spent a good part of it running back and forth to the car before our parking runs out; annoying isn’t it? The Green P app is like the answer to a long-standing prayer, letting you pay via the method of your choice on your phone, and reminding you when your time is running out so you can add more time – or cut out early, depending on how much fun your having.
Along the same lines is the new TTC Presto system. While there have been a few hiccups along the way the PRESTO system has certainly changed the way Torontonians and GTAers commute. No need for tokens, metro cards and GO Train passes when you have one system you can conveniently reload right from your phone. Recently the TTC announce it’s working to simplify that even further by putting your presto card right on your phone, eliminating the need for a card at all. The future of commuting is bright.