Apps that help users stay connected.

Apps that help users stay connected. Credit: AFP / Getty Images

"Pay as you go" has a new meaning as customers order food and pay their tabs using mobile apps. Whether you crave burgers, tacos, pizza or an iced vanilla latte, these apps from chains with a strong Long Island presence can speed up the fast-food process.

Domino's Pizza

(iOS, Android; free)

After setting up an account, you can pick up your pizza at your local store or have it delivered. If you choose delivery, the tracker function lets you follow your pizza from oven to when it sets out on its journey to your front door. In addition to paying with a credit card, Android users can pay through their Google Play account. Rivals Pizza Hut and Papa John's have similar apps.

Five Guys

(iOS, Android; free)

The burger chain is well ahead of rivals McDonald's and Burger King when it comes to mobile ordering and payments. Five Guys' best feature is its voluminous number of toppings, and the app makes it easy to build your burger or hot dog to your specifications. Your meal is prepared quickly, so don't be far from the restaurant when you place your order. (You can also request a specific time to pick up your meal.) At the restaurant, go straight to the pickup area.


(iOS, Android; free)

After setting up an account and entering credit-card information, ordering and customizing your meal from the popular Mexican-food chain is easy. The app tells you the time your meal will be ready, and when you get to the restaurant you can stride past the ordering line and go straight to the pickup area. The app lets you include special requests, for example toppings on the side.


(iOS, Android; free)

You can't order a cappuccino or a scone using this app; it is exclusively for mobile payments. But the lack of ordering capability hasn't hurt its popularity. Starbucks says more than 10 percent of its sales come via the app. After adding funds to your virtual Starbucks card, the app produces a scannable bar code. If you use the app in the drive-thru, you have to extend your phone through the car window for it to be scanned, so hold on tight.

Tech Bytes

'South Park' heads to Hulu

Streaming service Hulu has become the exclusive home for "South Park" after signing a deal with Viacom and the animated series' creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker. Season 18 of "South Park" will debut on Hulu's paid subscription service on Sept. 24. Hulu will offer the 17 past seasons of the often controversial show for free during the summer. -- PETER KING

Tablet shipments decline

Tablet shipments in the first quarter suffered their first year-over-year decline, according to NPD DisplaySearch, a unit of Port Washington-based research firm NPD Group. NPD said the decline was fueled by weaker demand for tablets sized 7-7.9 inches, which accounted for 58 percent of all tablets sold in 2013. NPD lowered its 2014 estimates for worldwide tablet shipments to 285 million from 315 million. -- PETER KING

Novartis, Google team on 'smart' lens

Swiss drugmaker Novartis has struck an agreement with Google to develop "smart" contact lenses that would help diabetics track their blood glucose levels. The device would measure glucose in tear fluid and send the data wirelessly to a mobile device. The technology is potentially life-changing for many diabetics, who prick their fingers as many as 10 times daily to check their body's production of the sugar. -- Reuters

Latest Videos