Food App Review of the Week: Video Recipes & Food Diary –

By on Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Video Recipes & Food Diary –
Future Today, Inc.
Cost: Free
Runs on: Android, iPhone

Think of as the food version of YouTube. They currently get a self-reported 4 million monthly unique visitors. This month they launched their Android app and updated their iPhone app, which both tout 40,000 recipe videos. If that seems like a lot, you’re right. It is. Ultimately, I found that this app suffered from too much of a good thing.

This app has five main navigation tabs: Home, Search, Favorites, My Diary and More. Home brings you to the main opening screen. The Home screen is compiled of eight whopping pages of tiny thumbnails to “help” make the process of finding recipes easy. These thumbnails organize recipes in various categories and sub-categories, from “Dessert” and “Kids” to “Cheese” and “Halal.” As you can imagine, just sorting through the eight pages of categories can quickly become a chore.

It gets even more complicated when you start seeing the same sub-category under multiple main categories, e.g., “Appetizer” appears under “Home,” “Healthy” and “Vegetarian.”

Click on any of these thumbnails and you’re launched into the list of recipes, appearing one at a time. You swipe horizontally to view the various dishes. You can also “like” the recipe, share it on Facebook and Twitter, and add it to your Favorites list. Clicking “View Details” provides the Ingredients and Preparation information. Odd as it seems with an app offering so much information, you can’t create a shopping list or share an ingredient list, like you can with virtually all recipe apps (i.e., Sara’s Kitchen, Good Food One-Pot Recipes, and Trufflehead). I should also mention that some of the recipes are strictly video-based so ingredient and preparation information isn’t available.

The app does take advantage of the accelerometer, meaning when you turn the phone on its side the view changes accordingly, and in this case provides a slightly different experience. I found the side view more enjoyable since it washes away the clutter, including the banner ads. This view also reveals a timer (set to 30 minutes by default regardless of the recipe).

Switching from vertical to horizontal view is a little glitchy though—just one of many that I found throughout my testing. Depending on how deep into the recipe view you are, the rotation of your phone won’t always bring you to the alternate view. I also found that some categories began repeating recipes as I continued to swipe, e.g., it would show I was on recipe 13 of just 6 recipes (showing the first recipe for the third time)…swipe again and I was on recipe 14 of 6.

Perhaps the best thing about this app is the videos. It’s amazing that they have so many quality videos created by mostly amateur producers. This means, of course, that some are better than others, but overall I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Moving on within the app, the Search function is even more convoluted than the category thumbnails. Advanced search options let you refine your search by nine different options. In particular, I found the Cuisine refinement comical. There were too many sub-categories to count, but you could refine your search by “Darjeeling” (for all those tea recipes you’ve been dying to make), “Jarez” (a town in southwestern Spain), “Piccadilly” (a street in central London noted among other things for its restaurants), and just about anywhere else on earth where someone has put food in their mouth.

The Favorites section of this app I found particularly glitchy. Sometimes it loaded extremely slow, sometimes it wouldn’t show all my recipes, sometimes it wouldn’t find the thumbnails that went with the recipes, and sometimes it didn’t load any recipes at all. Not to mention, with 40,000 recipes and all the categories and sub-categories this app likes to use for organizing, you’d expect the app would allow you to sort your favorites—nope.

The My Diary section requires you to log in through, Facebook or Twitter. Doing so allows you to keep a picture diary of the dishes you’ve cooked. Buried in the More section of this app is a Recipe Spinner. We’ve seen wheels like this in other apps before, such as AllRecipe’s Dinner Spinner Pro, which offers more control and flexibility than this recipe randomizer.

The more I used this app the more problems I found. It’s hard to not recommend a free app that boasts over 40,000 recipe videos, but this app seems to make the process more complicated than it needs to be. I found myself wanting to just close the app and search YouTube. If you want to use this app strictly as a food video search engine you might be ok. For me, I’ll likely never open this app again unless I’m trying to find cuisine from Saskatoon, Canada; or Gaithersburg, MD; or Hakka, China; or Udupi, India; or…

Toque Rating: 2/5

Written by Steve Cooper

Steve Cooper is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Hitched, a service and lifestyle online magazine for married couples. When Steve is not not researching or dispensing relationship information, he's reading, eating or marrying flavors together in the kitchen.

1 Comment

  1. Mark Moreno says:

    Food App Review of the Week: Video Recipes & Food Diary – Video Recipes & Food Diary – i… via @toquemag

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