Long gone are the days when a smartphone was seen as a luxury; today, more than 80 million Americans own a smartphone, and most will tell you it has changed their lives. One way more and more users are relying on their mobile apps is for their food needs.
Need to make a reservation? There's an app for that (OpenTable). Want to find a new restaurant near you? Search UrbanSpoon. Looking for a recipe for dinner tonight? Try the AllRecipes dinner spinner.
We talked with some of our favorite local foodies and asked them which app they have always got pulled up on their smartphone, and which ones can help you improve your cooking and dining experiences in the new year.
Chef Melissa Weiner, owner of Young Chefs Academy in Fort Worth
Favorite app: Smart Chef Substitutions
Why she loves it: "It is a great app if you find yourself short an ingredient, have food allergies, or want to make a dish healthier."
Download: $1.99 on iTunes
Kent Rathbun, executive chef and proprietor of Abacus and other North Texas restaurants
Favorite app: Around Me
Why he loves it: Rathbun uses Around Me when he is traveling to a new city. The app provides a list of restaurants nearby, so he can always find a great meal.
Sarah Hooton, cooking school manager at Central Market Fort Worth
Favorite app: Epicurious, Yelp
Why she loves it: "I LOVE Epicurious ... I tend to go to that website first for all recipe references because they usually have more professional recipes. I refer to Yelp sometimes for food reviews."
Details: Both are free
Callie Salls, chef/owner of Linguine and Dirty Martinis Private Chef Services
Favorite app: LIVESTRONG Calorie Tracker
Why she loves it: "The tracker helps you record the nutritional values of your favorite supermarket and restaurant foods to help maintain a healthy lifestyle. The app counts calories, lets you track fitness goals and allows you to plan meals in a customized food diary -- the perfect app for a foodie on the go!"
Download: $2.99 on iTunes
Megan Rountree, cake designer and pastry chef at Legacy Cakes Bakery, Grapevine
Favorite app: OpenTable
Why she loves it: "I could not live without my OpenTable app! I am often the party planner in our bunch, and so no matter where I am, I can make a reservation in a snap. I love OpenTable because you can read reviews, but it is also great to search for new restaurants, especially when traveling. I love that it is also a one-stop shop. I can order flowers, balloons, etc. all in one place to really finish off a special celebration. I use it on my Droid X and have never had a problem."
McKenzie Zieser, marketing communications at Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau
Favorite app: ShopShop and Epicurious
Why she loves it: "The ShopShop app makes grocery shopping easy and organized. You can access multiple lists and cross off items with just a swipe. Whenever I cook, it's mostly weeknight dinners, so the 'week night dinner' section is perfect on Epicurious when I'm in need of some creative cooking inspiration."
Details: Both are free
Debbie Rhea, associate dean of research and health sciences at Texas Christian University
Favorite app: Nutrition Menu
Why she loves it: "You can plug in fast-food locations, find the foods you are eating, and find out how many calories you are going to eat [with Nutrition Menu]. You can plug in your exercise logs, and many other things to understand calories burned and calories consumed. Great resource!"
Download: 99 cents on iTunes
Sebastien Layen, executive chef at Omni Fort Worth Hotel
Favorite app: Donna Hay digital magazine
Why he loves it: Layen loves reading Donna Hay to learn new recipes, get new ideas and find creative inspiration for food presentation. "I love the pictures; they are really country and home-style. The food is really great and simple, [just] the way I like it. The magazine [is seasonal], so it keeps you up to date and refreshes your memory on what will be great to use."
Download: Free on the iPad
Brent Hines, executive chef at Winewood Grill, Grapevine
Favorite app: Chef's Feed
Why he loves it: "It hasn't hit the DFW market yet, but it's coming. It's cool; you can basically follow your favorite chefs and get their recipes from the restaurant. Just click on the chefs of the city, read their profile, picture, their favorite dishes from other restaurants and their background, and you can send them messages."
Download: Free on iTunes