Your shiny gold iPhone 6 is already loaded with OpenTable and Uber, but there's a new class of apps in town. These five are tailored to Chicago to make your life easier—and even better.
Dash Running off to a show after dinner? Dash eliminates the need to wait for your server to settle the bill. Take matters into your own hands and pay your tab straight from your phone or split the check with friends using Dash, which launched in Chicago in 2013 but just recently announced its expansion to a few hot spots like Sunda, Bottlefork, and Vinyl.
Tripnary With sites like Jetsetter and Airbnb making it easy to imagine yourself in paradise, it's no wonder we all fall victim to wanderlust from time to time. Cue Tripnary, the app that helps sort through your to-visit list. Browse photos of the world, swipe right if you'd like to visit (or left if you'll pass), and your right-swipes are compiled to form your bucket list. It'll even start to plan your trip by offering can't-miss sights and an overview of airfare prices to each destination.
PrettyQuick PrettyQuick is your personal assistant for all-things beauty. The tool makes booking beauty appointments simple—even more so with its iPhone app that launched in November. Fire it up to find the times that work for you at 500 salons across the city, including the Spa @ the Wit, Blowout Junkie, Blowtique, and Bliss Spa at the W. Pay for the appointment through the app and you can even add on the tip, making last-minute trips to the bank to beg for small bills a thing of the past. Should you decide that Monday evenings are prime-time for your weekly manicure, you can rebook the appointment with a simple click.
Washio Forget worrying about picking up your dry cleaning only to return home to toss in a load of laundry; Washio, which launched its Chicago edition last fall, handles both piles of dirty clothes. Someone will pick them up within a reasonable 30-minute morning window, and you'll see your wardrobe looking like-new again in 24-36 hours.
Top-Top Picture this: OpenTable informs you that the only available reservations at your favorite spot are at 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. Before going on a wild goose chase to score the hidden gem of a reservation, call on Top-Top. Though it's not technically an app, the online booking system provides mobile-optimized access to prime time (7 p.m-8:30 p.m.), week-of reservations for $2.50 a guest—just type top-top.com into your smartphone's Internet browser and you're there, and subscribe to the weekly newsletter to stay updated on available reservations. Consider this your secret to scoring top tables at Kinmont, Yum Cha, RM Champagne Salon, and more.