Wedding Season

Zola’s New App is Basically Tinder For Wedding Gifts

No, that pot's not going to send you a creepy "hey ;)" message. (Zola)

In the old days — before weddings were all about #tech — you had to go to an actual, physical store to compile the items on your wedding registry. Now, it’s as easy as swiping left or right on an app.

Zola is a service that lets couples create customized online wedding registries. Within one registry, users can ask their guests to buy them items from any number of stores (including Zola’s own collections), as well as intangible gifts like “couple’s massage” or “honeymoon fund.”

They can further customize the registry by adding personalized photos and notes to their guests about why they chose particular gifts. Once the gifts are purchased, couples can even decide exactly when they want the gifts to be delivered. Read More

Delivery From Inconvenience

One-Hour Grocery App Instacart Finally Available To Manhattanites Below 110th Street

You might never have to come here in person again! (Wikimedia Commons)

Last month, we salivated over Instacart, the app that lets you order food from select New York grocery stores and have a personal shopper collect it and deliver it in as small a time frame as a single hour.

Today, Instacart shared good news: it’s finally delivering to Manhattanites below 110th Street. When Instacart first launched in New York, the service was only available below 34th Street, excluding the Financial District. Now a bigger percentage of Manhattan can experience the joys of having a friendly personal shopper bring a bag of fancy Whole Foods trail mix directly to your workplace to curb your 3 p.m. hunger attack. Read More

App for That

Travel App Lets Users Create Their Own Tours — And Get Paid

A sample Stray Boots tour. (Stray Boots)

Stray Boots, the travel app that lets you download interactive tours, is now making room for user-generated content.

Founder Avi Millman started the company back in 2009, after a family trip to Rome.

“We were visiting a bunch of different locations like the Pantheon, the Colosseum — I felt like I was sort of on a scavenger hunt, checking spots off on my list,” he told Betabeat. “It struck me that tour guide experiences are just extremely passive experiences, and not particularly social. If you could turn exploring a city into a game, you could make it a lot more fun, engaging and social.” Read More

App for That

Add Some Tech to Your Seder With New Bronfman Haggadah App

The Bronfman Haggadah, in app form. (Screengrab: iTunes store)

At traditional Passover celebrations, participants read from the Haggadah: a book that tells the story of Passover and outlines the steps of the seder. It’s a time-honored tradition, but with kids these days being into their “technology,” a member of the famed Bronfman clan has decided to turn her family’s Haggadah into an app.

Around this time last year, the Bronfman family (yes, that Bronfman family) celebrated the release of the Bronfman Haggadah, written by the late Edgar M. Bronfman and illustrated by his wife, Jan Aronson. The hardcopy Haggadah was very popular amongst Jews of all different levels of religiousness, Ms. Aronson told Betabeat. Read More

Metro Tech

M.T.A. Still Won’t Let App Developers Access the Good Data

We have this song in our head and now so do you.

The notoriously data prudish M.T.A. may have recanted its cease-and-desist letter to app developers in favor of one of those in vogue app competitions so popular with open governments these days, but that doesn’t mean the agency is giving up the good stuff.

Transit Nation reports that for the M.T.A.’s ongoing App Quest competiton (the public currently voting on 42 apps, which will be rewarded $15,000 in prizes), the M.T.A. did not expose data collected by the subway platform countdown clocks. The clocks, which report the actual time a train arrives, as opposed to the time that they’re scheduled to get there, could make apps much more valuable.  Read More