The personal assistant you’ve always wanted but could never afford, Google Home finds answers to your trickiest questions (“Who is the voice of Minimus on Sofia the First?”), keeps track of your schedule, entertains, adds items to your shopping list, and so much more – all you have to do is ask. Compatible with both Android and iOS operating systems, Google Home also works with over 1,000 compatible smart devices across 150 brands, including The Nest and Chromecast.
$129 at best buy
Mini version $49 at Best Buy
Nest Learning Thermostat
What could possibly be better on a cold winter morning than turning up the heat without ever leaving your warm, cozy bed? What used to be a luxury only for royalty is now an option for everyone with The Nest Learning Thermostat. Much like a certain jolly fat man, it knows when you are sleeping and knows when you’re awake, learning your preferences and schedule (so it cranks the heat up to welcome you home). Best of all, with an average savings of 10-15 percent on heating and cooling bills, the Nest can pay for itself in under two years. It’s the definition of a no-brainer.
$249 at thenest.com
You have a life: work, school, family, Netflix. Who really has time for grocery shopping? Instacart connects you with personal shoppers to deliver groceries from your favorite local stores. Create your list via your device and schedule delivery in as little as an hour (or later in the week, for those of you who are on top of things). Instacart shoppers will carefully select all your items and handle any items that are out of stock (they’ll make an appropriate replacement and contact you to verify it). You can even leave a note for your shopper about exactly how ripe you want your bananas.
$7.99 for one-hour delivery at Instacart.com
Craving Chick-fil-A, but under a deadline at work? The Uber Eats app connects you with a broad range of local restaurants and food, so you can order from the full menus of your local favorites whenever you want. Habitual eaters can even reorder favorite past meals, making Uber Eats even simpler. You can also include special delivery instructions (such as, “bring it to my boss’ office”), so you can get your lunch in while she reviews the budget you spent all morning on.
Fees vary based on several factors, but you’ll always see the fee upfront so you know what you’re paying before you order at UberEats.com
The last thing anyone wants to do when sick is get out of bed, put on real clothes, and sit in a doctor’s waiting room with 15 other sick people. If you weren’t sick when you got there, you definitely will be after an hour’s wait-worth of germ exposure. Is there a doctor in the house? Now there can be, with GoMED. Yes, I’m talking about the mythical doctor house call of yesteryear. Standard service (from pediatrics to geriatrics) includes travel, examination, prescriptions and first dosage of oral medications. After treatment, a full report including prescribed meds will be sent to your PCP.
After your visit you can either pay with cash, credit card, health savings account or GoMED can bill your insurance (verifying benefits before the visit to be certain that you’re covered!).