Food apps to whet your appetite

iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad app for Food Network

iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad app for Food Network On The Road

By now, you have probably given up on your New Year's resolution to drop a few pounds and are eating everything within reach. If that's the case, expand your options with a good helping of mobile applications. There are apps that can help you share images of exotic meals with your foodie friends, while getting rewarded with discounts and other goodies along the way. You can also keep tabs on the whereabouts of your favorite Food Network hosts or tap into vintage wine and coffee recommendations. Here are five apps worth chomping into right away:

Food Network On The Road

(iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad; free)

If you like the idea of traveling across the United States to check out unique eateries but don't want to involve Guy Fieri in your itinerary, then Food Network On The Road is the app for you. On The Road features restaurants from Food Network shows like "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives," "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" and "Giada's Weekend Getaways." The app maps locations out so you can get there and then eat to your heart's content.

Foodspotting

(iPhone, iPod Touch, Android; free)

Nothing will get you going like a visual guide to good food. Thankfully, Foodspotting has created an entire application to whet your appetite. This app is designed to help you satisfy your cravings, allowing you to uncover local venues, popular menu items and social recommendations. When you come across something wonderful, be sure to share it with the world. Upload your own photos through the Foodspotting app, earn badges and points for quality contributions, and gain some recognition for all the effort you've put into becoming the proud foodie that you are.

Great Coffee App

(iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad; $0.99)

The Great Coffee App features 16 of the most popular coffee-based drinks, from regular espressos, to lattes, Americanos, cappuccinos and even Irish coffees. The app comes filled with facts about each featured drink and also includes demonstrations on how to make the drinks yourself. While that may not seem interesting to the layperson, to a coffee fanatic, the app stands out.

LivingSocial

(iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android; free)

This daily deals app is perfect for urban outings, since it homes in on local deals that you and your friends can take advantage of. Redeem your coupon directly through the app, receive notifications for available local vouchers and explore your city or the one you're visiting during an upcoming vacation.

Wine Spectator

WineRatings+

(iPhone, iPod Touch; free)

If you enjoy wine even a little bit, Wine Spectactor WineRatings+ should be on your must-have app list. The vintage vino app packs tons of information, both free and premium, into its package. For free, users can learn all about different types of wine by reading up on about 55 of the world's wine regions and grape varieties. WineRatings+ also gives you the latest industry news.

-- Appolicious.com,

Tribune Media Services

 

Doc ratings: incomplete grades

 

If you follow the advice on physician-review websites, you may get a second opinion -- but little more. A Loyola University Medical Center study found the typical rating on websites like healthgrades.com was based on scores from an average of only 2.4 patients. Researchers noted that with so few reviews per doctor, results are often unreliable and "consumers should be cautious." -- Peter King

 

 

Cutting the cord

 

The number of American homes with landlines continues to shrink. The new National Health Interview Survey from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that nearly 36 percent of American homes had only cellphones. Of those with landlines, 16 percent received "all or almost all calls" on a wireless phone. -- Peter King

 

 

Cloud computing

 

The Federal Communications Commission has cleared the way for wider adoption of in-flight Internet services. New rules should promote "the widespread availability of Internet access to aircraft passengers," the FCC said in a statement. Airlines will be able to test systems that meet FCC standards, establish that they do not interfere with aircraft systems and then get a quicker approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, the FCC said. -- Reuters

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