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Smartphone Foodie Apps Reviewed

Thursday, 3 May 2012
I recently attended a Foodie Apps event which I blogged about here.  I have been playing with my new phone reviewing the apps which came preloaded on my new phone.  It is great to have a phone which is able to access decent apps and content instead of the really cheap and clunky phone I had before.

Here are some of the apps that I have tried so far:

Jamie's 20 Minute Meals - priced at £4.99

This is a great app with 60 recipes in total.  Each recipe has step by step instructions accompanied by photos so the recipes are really easy to follow.  It also has a shopping list feature which sorts the ingredients by aisle which makes shopping much easier.  

There are 21 videos of Jamie showing useful tips, tricks and kitchen skills from sharpening a knife to chopping an onion. 

This is a useful app for those short on time and cooking experience who want a quick fix meal and be guided through preparation from start to finish.  The recipes they are comprehensive and great for getting those who don't normally cook to have a go.

Priced at £4.99 it's cheaper than one of Jamie's books and does much more than a book can.  Great gift for those who need a bit on incentive to get cooking or if you want to try new recipes and need a bit of fresh inspiration.

Epicurious - Free

This app is from the food website Epicurious.com and includes over 28,000 professionally tested and created recipes from renowned magazines such as Gourmet and Bon App├ętit, popular cookbooks, top chefs, and leading restaurants.

There is a "Recipe of the Day" widget on the home screen and Voice Recognition Search Option which means that if you speak the name of an ingredient or recipe into your phone you can instantly receive recipes.  It does understand my Kiwi accent too, which is fab.

You can browse Recipe Collections, from Weeknight Dinners to Low-fat and Icecream.  Just select a Recipe Collection from the Home screen, then swipe to flip from recipe to recipe.

An excellent search function lets you swipe through icons on the search screen to filter by what's in your fridge, what's healthy, what's in season, and many more options.  You can browse by type of dish, main ingredient, cuisine, dietary needs or special occasion. You can also search for recipes by keyword.

You can save recipes to your Favorites by tapping the plus sign on any recipe image.  There is also a facility to E-mail any recipe to yourself or a friend.

I was really impressed with this app and the wide range of functions available considering it is free.  Yup, that's right, its free! Whoop! Great to play with use when you have those "What do I make with what's in my fridge?!" moments and if you need a recipe for an occasion or event or when cooking for someone with special dietary needs.

There is of course a Shopping List function which you can access by saving recipes to your Shopping List (just tap the plus sign on any recipe image) and check the items off the list at the supermarket.

Once you've got all of your ingredients you can use the Cookbook Mode, just tap "view recipe" and it will guide you through the recipe with step-by-step easy to follow instructions.

FoodWiz - Free to download but Subscription Charges apply to use the app

This is a great app if you, your family or friends need to avoid or select foods based on allergen content, or select food for ethical reasons.  FoodWiz works in association with Allergy UK, Asda, and Tesco, to provide information on over 80,000 retail products sold in the UK and the database is updated everyday.

You need to register and create an account with FoodWiz first.  Subscription charges are £15 for 3 months or £25 for 12 months.  You can create multiple profiles for the whole family or friends, and download the database directly to your Phone.  This means that you use FoodWiz on your phone when you have no signal or WiFi connection, as all the information is stored directly on your phone.

FoodWiz can be used in the supermarket or at home to read product barcodes and find out if products contain allergens or ingredients that are unsuitable for your dietary needs.  You simply point the camera on your phone at a product barcode and the FoodWiz App instantly displays information based on the choices you selected when you registered.  

This is a brilliant app if you or those you care about have food allergies or special dietary needs.  It's also useful if you are having guests for dinner or after school snacks and are unsure whether certain food items will be suitable for them to consume.  The subscription charges are expensive though but I would probably pay for a 12 month subscription if I had a family member with allergies or special dietary needs as it would make grocery shopping much easier.

This app focuses on healthy eating and is great for dieters or those wanting to know the amount of fat, calories and salt a recipe contains.  There is a a huge database of recipes you can browse through and check the nutritional value for each one.  You can search by keyword, cuisine type, occasion, course, dietary needs or occasion.  You can save recipes to your personal recipe box for later and also share favorite recipes with the Spark Recipes community if you register. 

There isn't a Shopping List function though which I did find frustrating.  There are also recipes contributed by members as well as their resident chef but not all recipes had thorough instructions but there is a huge number of recipes to browse through.
I've enjoyed playing with this app but I'm not sure I would use it regularly due to the absence of the Shopping List function and the fact there are so many recipes to browse through can make finding what you really want a little difficult.

I would love to try out some of the apps available for iPads or Tablets.  Only trouble is, I have neither! *sob* Should I get one at some point I shall endlessly play with it try out some of the apps available and review them on this blog.  Until then I shall have fun discovering more apps on my Smartphone.


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