As you wish: 5 on-demand startups deliver what you want, when you want it

The modern world is all about instant gratification. You need a ride? Hail an Uber. You’re in the mood for Game of Thrones? Watch it on HBO Now. As tech continues to bend over backwards to meet our desires with little-to-no delay, apps that offer services on demand are filling up the app stores.

We took a look at some of the coolest fledgling on-demand startups at Tech Day in New York, including everything from an app that lets you book hotels just for an afternoon, to a service that lets you hire a professional photographer at any time. Most of these services are local to New York, and while some of them have apps available to download, many are still web-only at the moment. Check out our favorites below.

ForkTrotter

ForkTrotter App_

Longing for a taste of home? So was Mariam Ouanaim after she came to the Big Apple from Morocco. It’s why she took it upon herself to try and bring the taste of her mother’s seven-veggies couscous to New York. ForkTrotter launched March 1, and right now exists as a web app that works well on mobile. You can order a dish from any listed country, and a chef will fire up the stove. Once your order is done, you can either pick it up from the chef’s house, or have them deliver it to you. The service is still incredibly new, so it’s only available in select areas in the city. It also only has four countries at the moment — Trinidad, Bulgaria, Morocco, and Jamaica.

Ouanaim told Digital Trends that while ForkTrotter accepts professional chefs, the company also puts a heavy focus on experience, and all chefs have to pass a rigorous cooking test to be hired. Apps are in the “pipeline” and are expected to launch in the next four to five months.

ForkTrotter

HotelsByDay

HotelsByDay-App_

HotelsByDay has been around for a year, and it does exactly what its name implies. The startup is changing the nature of how we think about hotels. Currently, we imagine a 3 p.m. check in, and a 12 p.m. check out time the next day. HotelsByDay has partnered with hotels across various cities to let you to book a room in 4-hour blocks in the morning and afternoon. So if you had a morning layover of a couple of hours, but didn’t want to spend all that time at the airport, you can book a room from one of the available hotels from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m, for example. Not only do you get to book a room at your convenience during the day, but the cost is also far lower than what you would pay for a regular room.

iOS Android

PhotoSesh

PhotoSesh App_

Ever needed a professional photographer, like right now? PhotoSesh wants to be the Uber for photographers, allowing you to immediately search for nearby professionals and book them. The prices go from $30 to $75 an hour, depending on what the photographer chooses, and you can see a quick portfolio of their work to see if you like their style. You’re not restricted to booking a photographer for a gig right now, either, you can book them up to 90 days in advance. While it benefits people who just need an event photographed or something of the sort, it’s also a useful tool for photographers looking to make some quick cash in their down time. The iOS app will launch on May 10, and will have more than 5,000 photographers at launch. It will be available in 12 metropolitan areas.

PhotoSesh

Loki

Loki App_

Getting a tour guide at Times Square in New York City can be one of the more painful experiences of visiting the city that never sleeps. You’ll also find yourself packed with other big groups, heading to some of the more generic tourist-centric spots, that often don’t provide a real New York experience. Loki wants to make your trip more personal, and local. You can sign up to be a tour guide if you know the ins and outs of the Big Apple, and if you’re visiting, the iOS app lets you easily hire someone for a flat fee of $60. You can filter your results to better suit your interests, and you can still opt for a group experience if you desire. The startup hopes to expand to other cities as it continues to grow.

iOS

Voom Carpool for Kids

Voom-Carpool-for-Kids-App_

Voom is a community-based app that wants to help parents get their kids to places with safe carpools. Voom, or Vehicles Optimally Occupied by Many, works through your own social network of friends that you add in the app, so other drivers are all people you know and not strangers. It’s also not restricted to any one city, as the app depends on the amount of people using it in an area to be useful. You can see which other parents have similar driving needs as your child, or you can create your own carpool and help out people in your community. The app still has a long way to go, as it had a soft launch just recently, but more features are being added by the month, and it’s free at the moment. An Android app is in the works.

iOS

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Computing

What is fixed wireless 5G? Here’s everything you need to know

Here's fixed wireless 5G explained! Learn what you need to know about this effective new wireless technology, when it's available, how much it costs, and more. If you're thinking about 5G, this guide can help!
Mobile

Razer’s Wireless Charger will turn your desk into gamer heaven

The Razer Wireless Charger adds colorful flair to your desk or bedside table. It works with any phone that supports Qi wireless charging -- with some quirks -- but is it worth the high price tag? We take a look.
Gaming

Xbox app lets you access your console while away from home. Here's how

Microsoft's Xbox allows you to access your profile information and launch media content directly from your mobile device. Check out our quick guide on how to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One.
Wearables

The best Apple Watch bands and straps to stylize your timepiece

If you have an Apple Watch, you know how easy it is to take off the strap it came with, so why not buy yourself another one? Here, we've gathered the best Apple Watch bands we've seen so far. There's something for everyone.
Mobile

How to choose an iPad in 2019: A practical guide to Apple’s tablets

Selecting an iPad from Apple's lineup can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Our comprehensive guide should put the numbers and specs in practical, easy-to-understand terms. Find your ideal iPad with the help of our guide.
Mobile

The Cat S48c is the phone designed for construction workers (or the clumsy)

The Cat S48c is a rugged smartphone that's available from Sprint. It mixes midrange specs with a huge battery wrapped in an extremely tough and protective body. If you need a phone that can survive the construction site, then this is it.
Mobile

Apple resurrects the iPhone SE with brand-new units starting at $249

Apple quietly started selling the iPhone SE again, at even lower prices than when it was discontinued four months ago. Brand new units of the 32GB version are on sale for $249, while the 128GB version is going for $299.
Android

Popular Android navigation apps are just Google Maps with ads, researcher says

A malware researcher found that 19 free Android navigation apps on the Google Play Store were nothing more than Google Maps, but with ads. One of the apps asked for a payment to remove the ads, while some of them presented security risks.
Mobile

Google Maps will now help drivers stay within speed limits, avoid speed traps

Google Maps will now start showing speed limits and speed camera locations, so that drivers will not be flagged for speeding tickets. The new features arrive to the app years after they were introduced in Waze.
Mobile

Text up a storm with the best messaging apps for iOS and Android

These days, most people tend to favor digital messages over phone calls. We have the best messaging apps that allow you to share photos and documents, send text messages, and more with end-to-end encryption.
Mobile

If you want Samsung's advanced folding phone, be prepared to pay a lot for it

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy Fold, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Mobile

Do these case images confirm a side-mounted fingerprint scanner on the S10 E?

It won't be long now; With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.
Mobile

T-Mobile 5G rollout: Everything you need to know

2019 will be a huge year for T-Mobile. Not only is a merger with Sprint likely, but T-Mobile is also in the midst of building out its next-generation mobile service. Here's everything you need to know about the T-Mobile 5G rollout.