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Illustration by Stephanie Rudig

There are so many apps that it’s hard to discern which are worth your time and, in some cases, your money. Fortunately, restaurant professionals in the D.C. area are helping to separate the wheat from the chaff. Below are some apps they recommend to make the lives of diners a little easier. 

Dark Sky ($3.99)

Doi Moi general manager Aaron Keller has to make the tough call of whether or not to seat the restaurant’s patio when inclement weather threatens. Weather app Dark Sky’s next-level accuracy, including minute-by-minute rain predictions, helps him decide. Though Keller thinks it’s an improvement over the iPhone’s default weather app, it sometimes misses the sudden squalls that plague D.C. summers.

Tunity (free)

What if there was a cool hack to hear the audio of your game at a sports bar instead of whichever contest the bartenders have decided to blast at full volume? With the Tunity app, just scan a TV screen to get the audio on your phone. “It’s perfect for people who like to watch out-of-town teams,” says Ivy City Smokehouse’s John Rorapaugh. Just don’t forget to bring your headphones.

Deluxe Moon ($1.99)

Compass Rose beverage and events director Maria Bastasch uses Deluxe Moon to alert her to when there’s a full moon or an eclipse, which some believe can make people anxious and emotional. “Even if people don’t buy into astrology, there is a different energy of the clientele,” she says. The app tells you everything from the stage of the moon to what time it rises and sets.

Waygo (free trial, then $6.99 per language)

Traveling food fanatics can benefit from Waygo, which translates Chinese, Japanese, and Korean text into English instantly using a phone’s camera. “Now I don’t miss out on specials at some of my favorite restaurants,” says Brookland’s Finest Chef Shannon Troncoso. There are some limitations—it doesn’t work well with stylized text or super fine print—but it’s handy whether you’re eating Korean in Annandale or globetrotting in Asia. 

Gormaya Conversions ($1.99)

Maybe you binge-watched The Great British Bake Off and want to try your hand at baking at home. RareSweets owner Meredith Tomason recommends the hyper-accurate Gormaya Conversions Bake & Cook app. Let it guide you through conversions of U.S. measurements to metric measurements or vice versa for more than 200 common baking ingredients.