Many popular apps first made their mark at TechCrunch Disrupt, a three-day tech conference in San Francisco. During this year’s TC Disrupt, we took to the Startup Alley expo floor to get a glimpse at the next generation of mobile apps. Take a look—these apps will disrupt how you find parking, get furniture delivered, tip your valet attendant, and more.
With this new app, you won’t ever have to have cash in order to leave a tip or gratuity to your servers, stylists, valet attendants, and other service professionals. Bravo (free) is a cashless peer-to-peer money app, with similar social capabilities like Venmo, but for tipping. This app finds service professionals with a Bravo profile via GPS or NFC, so you can instantly give them a tip and a rating. You can also manually input a user’s Bravo code or scan their QR code.
KwiltKeys (free) is an iOS keyboard from Kwilt, an app that bills itself as a photo roll “on steroids” that lets you access all your photos across different social and storage services in one app. This app lets you share your photos in Messages or other messaging platforms without leaving the app. Kwilt and KwiltKeys support Photos, Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, Google Photos, Tumblr, Twitter, Flickr, Photobucket, and Amazon Cloud Drive.
The best new app for bibliophiles, Shelfie (free) is like Shazam for your book collection. Simply take a photo of books on your shelf (a shelf selfie, or “shelfie” if you will) to create a digital library that you can share with fellow book-lovers. The makers of Shelfie have also struck deals with several publishers, including Harper Collins, to let you read an ebook version of a print book you already own for free or with a discount.
It’s no surprise that medical expenses can get pretty pricey—even if you have decent health insurance. Promising to save patients money, Faircare (free) is a new “medical cost transparency app.” Compare prices for different medical procedures and find the most affordable health care by using Faircare’s database. After going through a procedure, Faircare users are encouraged to submit the cost anonymously to make its database more accurate.
Who doesn’t like to receive the perfect gift? With Giftry (free), you won’t ever have to ask for a gift receipt or have to succumb to re-gifting. The app works as a ‘retailer-neutral’ gift registry that you can share with friends and family so they always know what to get you on your birthday. You can add items to your Giftry registry via a web link, a photo from your camera roll, or a scan code.
Parking can be a real problem in big cities—30 percent of traffic is people just searching for an open spot. Fleck (free) is trying to make this easier, with the goal of making sure that you won’t have to drive around aimlessly looking for a parking spot ever again. Fleck works very similarly to Airbnb, but as a marketplace for empty parking spaces instead of home. Drivers reserve a parking spot in advance for as little as $1, and parking space owners get to make extra income when they’re not using it. Fleck is currently in beta and only available in Oakland and Berkeley. (Will this app run into legal troubles like MonkeyParking did? Only time will tell.)
This Chinese startup has created an accessory called the SpeedForce, which attaches safely to bike handles and serves as a biking companion. Using the BeastBikes companion app (free), cyclists can track their bike performance, share their routes, and get motivated to continue biking. SpeedForce serves as an iPhone charger, too, which will keep you juiced up while riding.
There’s nothing quite as sad and wasteful as having to throw out once-yummy food because it went bad in your fridge. Foodfully (free) catalogues everything you have in your fridge—along with expiration dates—to send you timely reminders and recipes so you can cook your food before it goes bad. The app offers a friendly way to save money and be less wasteful. The app hasn’t officially launched yet, but you can request an invite if you’d like to check it out sooner.
This forthcoming iOS app takes the form of a frisky card game designed to facilitate sex talk between partners. After completing a sexual personality test, you can pick your favorite turn-ons and share them privately with your partner to compare if any of them are a match. You can request an invite to try PlsPlsMe here.
What if you could request and pay to get something big and heavy delivered to you with just a push of a button on your iPhone? That’s what Burro is promising, using moving trucks and professional movers to act as your on-demand “personal pack mule.” Burro, only currently available in Texas, can get large-screen TVs, mattresses, and furniture delivered to your house at half the price of a U-Haul.
Even though there’s a Starbucks on every corner, the lines to get coffee are getting longer, especially in the morning or in the early afternoon—right when you need coffee the most. Cafe X lets you pre-order and pay for a latte or mocha right from your iPhone. Simply put in your order and head to your nearest Cafe X robotic cafe (basically an automated coffee vending machines) to pickup your coffee. Right now, the only robotic cafe is in Hong Kong, but the company is looking to expand to airports, malls, and college campuses.
Based on 12 years of research in quantum biology, SuperCharged made its debut at TC Disrupt this year. When it comes out, this free mobile app will be able to analyze your health based on the sound of your voice, combining voice resonance technology with machine learning to create a personalized health profile. The app then becomes your personal health and wellness coach with recommendations on how to better your health. Sign up for the SuperCharged mailing list to find out when the app will be available.
Built to empower citizen journalism, Witness is a different type of livestreaming app. You can use it to record video whenever you feel you are in danger or want to document criminal activity, all while being able to call 911 and communicate with police. The footage then gets sent anonymously to Witness’ secure servers, where it can be retrieved as legal evidence shall you have to appear in court. Sign up on their website to get early access to the iOS app.
If you love going on roadtrips, RoadGazer promises to make the journey easier. This forthcoming iOS app acts as your personal co-pilot during a long car trip. Plan your travel itinerary with RoadGazer and the app will talk to you while on the road so you won’t have to take your hands off the wheel to get traffic updates and alerts about an upcoming rest stop or restaurant where you wanted to stop. Sign up on RoadGazer’s website for early-bird access.
This is about as close as we got to seeing a time machine at TC Disrupt. Membit is a new app that lets you unlock past clips—or “membits”—that were taken in a specific location. Snapchat filed a patent for a similar feature back in November 2014, so we’ll see if they release it before Membit’s big debut later in the fall. You can learn more about how Membit works on their website.
Pretty soon you won’t have to go to a sports bar if you want to cheer on your favorite team with a group of friends: WeMesh (free) is making video watching a communal activity again. This app lets you watch YouTube videos simulatenously with people in your Contacts—syncing the videos up perfectly. You can even chat or talk while the video is playing.
The last time I planned a get-together with friends, it took about 35 emails to coordinate everything. Yikes. Ignite is looking to streamline the experience and get everyone onboard for whatever event you’re planning, whether big or small. The app gives you a feed of all your friends’ social ideas (brunches, beach days, etc.) called “sparks.” You can then choose which things you’d like to attend. If an event gets enough interested parties, then you and your friends pick a date, time, and location that works for everyone. You can even create polls to see, for example, what food everyone is bringing to a potluck or coordinate ride shares.
On Messages, you can drop a pin to save or share your location, but some people are wary of having their exact whereabouts plopped on a map. That’s where Pull might come in handy. Pull is simply a location-sharing app, but without the map. The app lets you find your way to your Facebook friends that are within 1000 feet by using a compass instead of a map. The app is launching on October 31, and the first 100,000 people to sign up will get special early access for Halloween weekend.
For travelers in a new destination or city-dwellers who want to find the best secret spots, Viewspot offers a list of public vantage points where you can catch the sunset, take in the sweeping cityscape, or enjoy panoramic ocean vistas. (Basically any place that’d make for a killer Instagram photo.) The app collects photos and information about these scenic spots that you can browse in a map and add to your own personal bucket list.
CrowdFlik (free) lets you record and edit footage captured at concerts, sports games, and other live events. You can also view footage taken by fellow concert-goers and incorporate their videos from the same event into your edited video. CrowdFlik a simple way to get different angles and perspectives without having to bring a full-on video team with you.
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