It’s funny, there’s one thing that sticks with me when I think back to the finalists for the BlackBerry Super Fanboy contest. Besides the creativity, I think about the content; applications to be more specific. How fitting that the winners also included developers. We’ve heard about Marco van Hylckama Vlieg’s ever useful Screamager application, which was out and about at DevCon 2011, and also came in handy during our Halloween Trick or Treat trek. There’s another one that was shown off in a fanboy video that isn’t quite as well known, but is definitely awesome. Another Fanboy contest winner, Alexander Perri, could be seen cooking with his PlayBook next to him- check out his My Everlasting Light video at the 3 min, 45 sec mark to see the app in question. That application is actually his own creation; it’s called Allergen Free Cooking.
When his video was posted in the blogs, I immediately reached out to him, wanting to know which app it was. At DevCon, I finally met up with Alexander and we discussed the application, its creation and its future. Since day one, it hasn’t left my BlackBerry PlayBook, though it does cause me to salivate which in turn creates the danger of potentially causing water damage to my tablet. Read on for more.
Allergen Free Cooking was developed by Alexander Perri under AP Photography and by CR6 Technologies. It’s currently only for the BlackBerry PlayBook, though there are plans to bring to OS 7 BlackBerry smartphones. The application is currently in version 1.0 and has a file size of 32.6 MB.
Rating in BlackBerry App World: Not Yet Rated
In a nutshell, Allergen Free Cooking is a recipe book that caters towards those with intolerances, or allergies towards dairy, egg, gluten or soy by currently providing 19 delicious recipes. According to the about screen, these appear to be provided by stylist and Chef Biance Drennan. There are two ways of accessing the recipes; view all or view by type. You can do either from the main menu, where types are divided into Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Dessert.
Below these categories, the navigation menu can be found, which is stationary no matter which screen you are viewing. In this menu, there is a link to the master list of recipes, as well. In either view, each entry includes a thumbnail of the delectable dish. Let’s take a look at one now.
The design and layout of the application is wonderful, it showcases Alexander’s photographer skills quite well. This includes the look of each “recipe card”. Each recipe card includes items such as a description of the dish, storage options, substitutions, information on specific ingredients, serving size and difficulty. The recipe card also lists the ingredients, measurements and directions. The description, ingredients and direction fields may include more information than it can display. You are able to scroll up and down within those fields. That allows for maximum information and minimum use of the screens real-estate. What’s done with the rest of the screen? How about 4 beautiful images capturing the dish from start to finish? My stomach is growling as I write this while looking at the app. Excuse me while I go get a snack…
Of course you need to keep track of the ingredients needs for these recipes. Conveniently, Allergen Free Cooking has a section where you can manage your grocery list. Rather than one massive list to run through, your items are divided into four categories;
Fruits, Vegetables & Herbs
Spices, Seeds & Grains
Meat, Fish & Milk
Baking, Honey, Syrup & Condiments
The ingredients are preset with no option to modify them in any way. Wait, no you can choose the quantity of each item you want to pick up. Each entry has a quantity tracker to the right, allowing you to easily mark off of many of each you need. To the left of each entry, a check mark is displayed. As you drop items into your shopping cart, click on the checkmarks to track what’s left to pick up. It’s simple, to the point and easy to use while pushing a cart or juggling a basket. The only thing I can think of is combining recipe cards with the grocery list. Include a button that will automatically add the ingredients from a recipe card into the grocery list. Streamlining this process will make the app go far.
Otherwise known as the drool den, the gallery displays larger image of all 19 dishes. Scroll through, wipe your mouth and decide which one you want to make next. What you make this section more useful is being able to tap on an image and be redirected to the associated recipe card.
Besides the couple of additions I mentioned earlier, this application is amazing. Each of the features is powerful on their own (photography, layout, recipes and grocery list), but Allergen Free Cooking combines them into one beautiful package. Alexander is looking for more recipes to add to future versions, so if you do decide to pick this up, let him know of your ideas. You can pick up Allergen Free Cooking for $1.99 from BlackBerry App World.