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Silicon Valley’s Hottest New Apps

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The ride-hailing company Lyft rolled out its new shuttle service this week, allowing users in San Francisco and Chicago to “ride for a low fixed fare along convenient routes, with no surprise stops.” Some were quick to identify this supposed innovation as a bus.

—Los Angeles Times

Lyft isn’t the only app stepping up to meet our everyday needs—all around Silicon Valley, startups are keeping themselves busy developing new technologies to transport our lives into the twenty-second century. Some of these include:

Spotify IRL

Spotify’s new feature delivers the highest-quality audio by bringing the app experience into the real world. With Spotify IRL, you can watch a band perform a custom playlist of its own songs, live in a room with up to seven hundred other fans! Simply purchase a Spotify IRL BandPass, take it to a predetermined Spotify Roundhouse, and enjoy the tunes.

TaskRabbit Protect

Now you can feel safe anywhere you go, with TaskRabbit Protect. For a small subscription fee, Protect allows you to engage the services of local TaskRabbit Protectors, who will come to your side at a moment’s notice and insure your safety. All of TaskRabbit’s Protectors are dressed in uniform TaskRabbit Blue and wear patented RabbitMedals to indicate that they’re completely vetted by the company. They also travel in specially designed RabbitCruisers and carry Tasers and loaded pistols. Register for the beta today!

Bond, by Tinder

So you’ve met your perfect match on Tinder—now what? Take things to the next level with Tinder Bond. Bond allows two people to forge a life together, by creating a Tinder Link that connects them forever. Simply find a certified Tinder Servant to approve your Link. Then, with the Tinder Servant as witness, bump your phones together to confirm the Link! If you wish to delete your Link at any time, bump your phones again in a Tinder Servant’s presence. Fair warning: deleting your Link will incur a fee based on all charges accrued while your accounts were in the Link together.

Medula, by Snapchat

The fleeting nature of Snapchat was a deal-breaker for some, but with Medula that lack of permanence will never be an issue again. Snapchat Medula is composed of two thin, translucent eye covers that allow you to look at an object, person, or place and simply close and open your eyelids to capture a SnapMemo of it. The SnapMemo can be recalled at any time and is automatically permanently stored in a private, two-gigabyte MedulaCloud that is only accessible to you—no Wi-Fi required! (Note: Medula does not currently support filters, emoji, or text overlays.)

Reddit OutThread

Reddit OutThread makes it easy to share your opinions, offline. With OutThread, Reddit takes the social experience of its Web site and turns it into a nighttime activity, allowing people to gather in a large room to discuss topics of their choosing, submit related content, and even vote on submissions with Reddit’s patented Voteka glasses. Simply laugh and raise your Voteka to upvote, or silently scowl and sip from your Voteka glass to downvote. OutThread asks users to be patient while it teams up with TaskRabbit Protect to cull its more offensive users.


Venmo is dominating the currency game with VenmoGreen, a system to make dealing with money easier than ever before. Simply log in to your Venmo account at a VenmoGreen Machine near you. You can then withdraw Greens-to-Go in denominations of one to a hundred. Each Green-to-Go is marked with an invisible seal of authenticity and can be traded among friends, accepted in stores, rolled into tubes for drug use, or deposited at any VenmoGreen Machine for safekeeping.

Audible Connect

The most interactive storytelling experience ever—and it’s free. Simply visit a Connect Home near you; find one of Audible’s Connect Raconteurs, each of whom has decades of experience; and ask the Connect Raconteur to share an audiobook from his or her personally curated collection. All Connect Raconteurs come with a default selection of nonfiction audiobooks about war and/or sexual experiences, as well as a special fictional audiobook about Filipino orderlies stealing jewelry.

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