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Amazing Apps: Count Calories by Taking Photos of Your Food

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Meal Snap lets you take pictures of various foods and quickly retrieve corresponding nutritional info.
Meal Snap lets you take pictures of various foods and quickly retrieve corresponding nutritional info.

Counting calories just got easier, and more high-tech, courtesy of iPhone, iPad and iPod touch dieting app Meal Snap, which lets you take pictures of various foods and quickly retrieve corresponding nutritional info. Users even have the option to track meals and caloric intake by date, or share meal information via Facebook, Foursquare or Twitter.

Available on the Apple App Store, the $2.99 diet-tracking app allows you to snap photos of food and enter optional text descriptions, then quickly call up calorie counts on your mobile device. Accuracy is surprisingly good when identifying basic foodstuffs like fruits, vegetables and meats, and the software can even distinguish between multiple items in a single image. But loading speeds aren’t particularly brisk, the software can struggle to identify more complex creations including noodle and rice dishes that incorporate multiple food groups, and calorie estimates are sometimes scattershot. Still, the app works unexpectedly well, and should prove a useful, if sometimes unpredictable, dieting aid.

The equivalent of Shazam for haute cuisine, the app may help keep your waistline in check, and just in time for summer bikini season – if future updates can improve the app’s accuracy, speed and performance.

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