Order Pizza puts take-out orders at your fingertips
By Philip Michaels
If Order Mapper has its way, we’ll all be ordering pizzas on our iPhones without ever having to talk to another soul.
The application maker this week released Order Pizza, a free app for the iPhone and iPod touch which allows you to order takeout or delivery from your favorite pizzeria with just the push of a few buttons. The app takes advantage of a number of iPhone features—location awareness and push notifications, most notably—as well as the Twilio Web services API for automating phone calls.
The app requires some initial setup the first time you launch it—you have to enter your name, address, and phone number initially, as well as a personal ID number for order tracking. But after that, it’s just a matter of punching in that PIN number and you’re set to order. Order Mapper founder Jim Bricker contrasts his app’s approach with that of the Pizza Hut iPhone offering, which requires a name and password each time you place an order.
Use Order Pizza’s location awareness feature, and the app will pull up a list of nearby pizza joints. That list will be dominated by chains mostly, but you can also enter the name and phone number of your favorite neighborhood pizza parlor. From that point, it’s just a matter of selecting pickup or delivery, picking a pizza size and toppings, and tapping a button to place your order.
That’s where Twilio comes in. It enables Order Pizza to call the pizzeria—even on the iPod touch—and place your order. If the order goes through, you get a push notification.
Order Mapper claims a 95-percent success rate with pizza orders getting accepted in its testing. “We were surprised by the number of pizzerias that took the order,” says Bricker. “We have some really good engineers.”
Bricker notes that premium features for specific restaurants could be added to future versions of Order Pizza. And Order Mapper sees its slice of the pie expanding beyond pizzas and into other areas.
“I think the next version will probably be Chinese food,” he adds.
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