Four Must-Have Food Apps for iPhone
There are so many options to choose from when reviewing food related apps. Are they recipe sites? Food content calculators? Restaurant guides? Food delivery apps? In this guide, I concentrate on three different food app categories. The first two are recipe apps, straightforward just different focuses on the same subject, there are hundreds of apps, but these are rather special. The third is bill splitter, which always comes in handy when dining out in groups. The fourth has to be a food calculator, where you plan and control your food intake to meet predefined requirements. I do not include food delivery services; this will come under a separate review.
Just one note to all those upset individuals and app makers that ask why I only reviewed these apps and not theirs, or others. There are just too many to choose from. Note that I did not state the “best” I called this review “Some,” that’s to be fair to all the wonderful apps out there that I have yet to review and will do so later.
If you have an app that you want me to review, contact me, and I will do so.
The reason I chose Kitchen Stories are many, to start off with, this is clean and easy to understand app. It comes with amazing graphics and a very friendly GUI. What I was impressed with was the step by step photo and video instructions and the compatibility this app has with Apple’s tvOS and WatchOS, which is very useful when you are multi-tasking all over the place. It also comes in 12 languages, and I am a great fan and even zealot of multi-lingual apps, English is not the only language in the world, and apps should (mandatory) come in a minimum of 8 major languages.
In 4 years, KS has raised $1.8 million form a seed round and has reached 3 million downloads. Impressive. Their investors at the seed round were Point Nine Capital and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments.
The app is the brainchild of two exceptionally gifted and talented individuals from Germany. Mengting Gao and Verena Hubertz. These two met as students in WHU business school. Their concept was born from their love of cooking and the fact that they didn’t believe that there was a comprehensive cooking solution online. As Hubertz stated (In TechCrunch) “We believe the ideal cooking app still isn’t available on the market. We aim to solve this by creating the most user-friendly app with all the features and information our users need to cook – regardless whether they’re an absolute beginner or already a hobby chef. Our motto is ‘anyone can cook’ and we want to take away the kitchen anxiety.”
Back to the Present
How do you create a comprehensive and user-friendly online food app? Well, the answer it seems is like any other recipe, it includes basic tasty ingredients mixed and presented in a modern vibrant and deliciously attractive package.
Based out of Berlin, Kitchen Stories has an easy to use GUI, a lovely presentation and this is the first part of its success. Just like you eat with your eyes at first, so you get attracted to this app with its clear-cut lines, text, and graphics.
The next level is in the content; the ingredients have to be good as well as the presentation. What Hubertz and Gao have done is taken proven recipes, and built around this core, delivering only the best recipes, those that produce the best results and presented them as options in their extensive library of recipes. Their source for recipes lies in both time-proven recipes as well as contacting hobby chefs that focus on one dish, such as lasagna or apple pie, and provide you with varied recipes that all deliver exceptional results.
There is a scroll through step by step photo supported instruction. You get all the ingredients, methods, times and temperatures to prepare the meal. If you don’t stray from the instructions, you will always produce the tastiest results.
It comes with meal size conversions so that you can create larger volumes for planned large dinners.
It comes with a personal cookbook, where you can save your recipes, even build one up the same way they present them, and you upload it and get feedback and comments, even cooking tips.
You get a shopping list generator; when you choose different recipes, it will create a shopping list for you, so you don’t forget any items, and also buy the right amount of each one.
The clincher is its free.
Add to this the community of professionals that upload recipes, and you can become a stay at home master chef without the pressure and hassle of the judges.
Bottom Line: If you have a love for cooking, not just eating, then this is a must-have the app, even if you have others, just download this one too and add it to your repertoire of kitchen successes.
Oh She Glows
It’s a vegetarian recipe app, and it’s a killer. Yup, what an oxymoron, but its true, this app delivers ripping recipes for plant-based eating and the presentation is as delicious as the food you create.
So, what do you get here and why is it a must download. Well for starters, whether you love meat or not, you always need a good veggie recipe for those family members and visitors that want only herbivorous recipes.
The other reason is that these are so tasty and easy to make, it would be a crime to overlook such an amazing app and content all for the sake of a grill.
Now let’s look at this app in more depth.
To start off with, this app uses the eyes to help entice the feast, and yes, we do eat with our eyes first. In fact, before we even touch food our eyes and nose have already told us if it’s worthwhile going near. The photographs and presentation in this app are second to none.
The second GUI experience in the extensive search options, which gives you the ability to search for dishes by type, meal, recipe titles and even ingredients.
You can create your lists of favorite recipes, and you can filter the recipes based on different parameters including allergy restrictions and dietary requirements.
What is great in this app is the cross-out process when creating a dish. Essentially you cross out an ingredient and step when you use them by tapping on the text, this crosses the text out, and you can keep track of where you are. Stepwise recipes are great, but being able to cross out steps that have been reached is even better.
The recipes are presented in easy to understand stepwise preparations, so you won’t ever lose your way and will also be able to add notes in any recipe when you decide to change a step or an ingredient.
What else can we get from OSG? There are currently over 60 recipes, and the list is growing from subscribers that upload their proven dishes. There is one downside, they don’t teach you how to plate, so you have to try and get the same visual from the photo into your plating. This is a trial and error process, but honestly, after a while, you end up reaching the same levels.
Bottom Line: This is a great extremely delicious recipe app and should be on your iPhone. The steps to creating a dish are easy, and the photos are so successful that you end up dreaming of creating such amazing results…and you do!
Its time to take a step out of the kitchen and into the restaurant, or café or wherever you have to pay for your meal of choice. Tab is a clever calculator for that tired brain time, after a great meal, the wine is down, the food is settled, and you want to get that Uber back home, but you have to now calculate through that fog of brain haze the exact amount each persona has to pay.
“No problemo” take out your iPhone, tap on Tab and take a photo of the bill. Yup, you don’t need to input the individual components, just click a photo, and the app will then dissect it for you. Oh, and I digress a moment, it connects with Venmo so if you have that momentarily penniless friend that seems always to be penniless even though he or she lives in a million-dollar penthouse and has sixteen hypercars, not a problem either.
What you get is a list of the bill items with the taxes and tip calculated into the final amount.
Now what you do is tap on the items that are yours, or theirs, and it will calculate the specific amount each one has to pay, including that tip issue.
Bottom Line: I like this app, it’s a quickie app, quick to review, but even quicker to help split a restaurant bill.
MyFitnessPal’s Calorie Counter app
This is the Google of all calorie counter and diet planning apps. It has so many features, add-ons and third-party connections that I will need a 50-page book to describe them all. So, I will do my best in a few paragraphs and hope you get the message.
The message is basically, download this app and find out yourself why it’s so damned good.
I wish it were that simple, but now, so let’s move on into the wonderful blue depth of MyFitnessPal’s Calorie Counter.
To start off with, this app applies to everyone, whether you just want to have a fast, accessible food content data sheet provider, or you need to create a comprehensive diet for professional bodybuilding, and everything in between, this app will bring it to you.
It’s a crime to call it a calorie counter since it is so much more, and calorie counting is only one feature, literally only one feature of this app. Just as addition is only one feature of a calculator.
Where to start?
Lets’ start with your basic details, height, weight, age, and sex. Then decide what is your desire, do you want to slim down, get bigger, grow muscles, lose fat? Or perhaps you are training for the marathon or need to keep track of your weight as a professional dancer? Perhaps you have diabetes or are a professional MMA fighter? Or, maybe you just like to know what you are eating. You decide because the first step is calculating your BMI and determining your calorific intake including what is in those calories? Do you need more protein or carbs?
The only way this app will provide accurate results is by adhering to its use. This means you need to be prepared to input all your daily intake, as well as follow the apps proposed dietary and nutrition commands.
You need to input all your daily exercises, what you ate and this machine will calculate what you have spent regarding calories as well as provide you with projected intake requirements for the rest of the day.
If you have any fitness devices and apps, MyFitnessPal will link with them, and this way updated data can be streamed between the device or app and MyFitnessPal delivering automated updates on the go.
You also get updates from a community of users, each with different goals. Don’t forget that everyone is unique, so what might work for one person could never work for another. You have to also factor in age, genetics, allergies and other issues. However, at the end of the day, controlled exercising and eating properly is the only way to reach any goal.
The app supports over 5 million ingredients, so you are welcomed into a well-established library of data that will give you answers to just about any food-related question.
Now for a deal clincher, MyFitnessPal comes with its barcode scanning software so that you can scan all food packages you intend to buy and get the full content breakdown. This is a great addition when needed to compare between competing brands and where price is a major issue. You want to maximize your value for money ratio, and this is the app for that
Apart from physical results that you feel and see, you get digital results presented to you in pie charts (yup, pun intended on a technological level) These charts show your content breakdown as you go, carbs, proteins, fats.
This is not a free app, so if you want to access all the features, you need to dish out $49.99 per annum.
Now let’s look at the pros:
- The world’s largest database of food information, including meals and restaurant dishes.
- You can add recipes with your breakdown of data, or use the original ingredient data for a more accurate reading.
- Not all food uploaded with details are accurate. Since these dishes are added by users, like yourself. Sometimes the calorie content breakdown is accurate, and you get a lot of doubles, where users upload the same recipe with different content data. Unless you use original data, calories and contents for dishes can be is-directional.
- Serving sizes cannot be edited, so you need to calculate the content using the baseline size.
Bottom Line: This is still the biggest and the best of all calorie counting apps, and if you just concentrate on core ingredients rather then meals, you will be safe from error.
These are all must-have apps, but that’s just my opinion. On the other side of the coin is the versatility of these apps and their amazing ease of use, and in the case of the first two, access to wonderful recipes that will change your life for the better.
I will bring more food apps over time; this was the opening gambit. As I mentioned in the introduction, if you have a specific app you want me to write about, contact me and I will review the app and post it as part of a categorical review.