New 'Food Network' App a Tasty Treat

Free iPad download takes you to restaurants from network's top shows

New 'Food Network' App a Tasty Treat

As major fans of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives — the popular Food Network show starring chef Guy Fieri — my wife and I recently set out to find a restaurant profiled in Las Vegas. The effort was worth it, but finding Yayo Taco wasn't that easy: It required a juggle between a Web search and Google Maps.

A new app called Food Network On the Road makes it a lot easier for television viewers to find restaurants profiled on their favourite shows.

As you'd expect from its name, the free app for iPad, iPhone or iPod touch lets you easily find and bookmark establishments you want to visit, based on various Food Network television shows, personalities or specials. They're not all listed here, mind you, but there are more than 3,000 locations, says Food Network.

You can simply drag and drop a restaurant listing into a Favourites folder at the bottom of the screen. At any time, you can search by host, show name, cuisine, city or restaurant name, or you might opt to browse the app in a few different ways. For instance, you can sift through popular shows such as Boy Meets Grill, Giada's Weekend Getaways, Throwdown With Bobby Flay and more. Or browse listings for popular chefs including Duff Goldman, Alton Brown, Mario Batali and Rachael Ray.

You can also peruse the lists by city, cuisine or "Best Of" rankings. Or tap the "Nearby" tab and you can see if there are any restaurants near you — based on your device's GPS signal — that have been profiled on a Food Network show.

For each establishment, you'll see the address, phone number and directions, along with the location in a small Google Map window. You can read a brief description of the place and even create your own road trip ahead of time — and share it with friends, earn food badges and save places you've already visited.

The interface for the app is clean and easily navigable. But while you can add a photo to a restaurant — by importing it from your photo library or taking it then and there with your iOS device — you can't make notes for each place (such as "order the mahi-mahi" or "ask for Rosie"). Hopefully this will be added to an app update, along with more locations (though there were only two places I couldn't find).

Overall, Food Network On The Road is a delicious app for any on-the-go foodie — especially if you're a fan of the popular television network.


Control a (Miniature!) Porsche with This Free App

Silverlit's Porsche 911 Carrera is controlled via iPhone, iPad or iPod touch

Control a (Miniature!) Porsche with This Free App

There's no shortage of radio-controlled vehicles on the market these days—be it cars, helicopters and robots—all controlled by a nearby iPad, iPhone or iPod touch.

Now, auto aficionados can get their hands on a miniature Porsche 911 Carrera—complete with functional headlights, tail lights and signal lights.

A free app called Silverlit's Porsche 911 Carrera HD for iPad (or just Silverlit's Porsche 911 Carrera for iPhone and iPod touch) controls the silver Porsche ($79.99) wirelessly via Bluetooth technology.

Rather than pushing forward, back, left and right with a traditional R/C joystick, the app allows you to use gestures to control the action. Simply tilt the tablet or smartphone in a given direction to adjust speed and steering. Specifically, you'd tilt your device forward to accelerate, lean left and right to turn or pull back to reverse or remain idle.

Should you prefer the classic driving controls found in other R/C remotes, you do have an option to switch from gesture mode to a touch-screen joystick setting. You can also adjust steering sensitivity and acceleration curve settings in the app's options area.

Along with authentic sound effects (from the car itself), there are also vibrations that deliver the rumble and feel of real driving (iPhone version only). The hobby-grade 1:16-size Porsche, which boasts beautiful detail even when viewed up close, also has front and rear suspension, a working Porsche horn and the aforementioned turn signal, hazard and headlights.

The car requires four AA batteries and is recommended for children ages 8 and up.

If the $80 price tag isn't an obstacle, the Silverlit Bluetooth RC Porsche 911 is a fun R/C toy for hobbyists, thanks in part to the clever app used to control it.