Some claim that Apple hasn’t done anything innovative since the death of founder and visionary Steve Jobs, but iOS 10 is here to prove you so very wrong. As anyone who’s attempted to choose a restaurant for a group dinner knows, it’s one of modern life’s greatest tribulations. Thai? Tapas? Tacos? It’s enough to make you delete your Instagram account.
But OpenTable’s app for iOS 10 (available for download for iPhone users as of today, as the Verge reports) democratizes this soul-wrenching process with a simple but genius feature: Users can now send their friends a list of several restaurants to vote on in a group text, then make the reservation from right there within the confines of iMessage.
So how does it work?
Start a text with whoever you're going to dinner with in the new Messages app, then open Messages' new app section and pick OpenTable.
Narrow down restaurants by selecting your party size and desired time and date:
Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few options, shoot them over to your friends in iMessage:
Let them vote on where they want to eat. This eliminates at least 3,408 frustrating, time-consuming, and exhausting back-and-forth text messages.
Once everyone has voted all you need to do is confirm the desired reservation with OpenTable, right from within iMessage. Everything else works just as it would in OpenTable’s app, including confirmation via email, any notes you’d like to leave for the restaurant (“It’s Jim’s birthday so please embarrass him”), and iCal event sync.
As restaurant reservation technology has evolved over the years, Apple and OpenTable have gotten closer and closer: OpenTable’s iOS app was first released in 2008, and was heralded for enabling users to make reservations without the need to speak to any pesky humans; an iPad version followed in 2010. In 2014, Apple Pay was integrated into the OpenTable app, allowing diners to pay the check with one touch. Then, after the Apple Watch landed in early 2015, OpenTable released a pared-down, watch-appropriate version of its app. Now with OpenTable integrated into iMessage, we fully expect to hear about an OpenTable Facebook bot sometime soon.