What makes a good cookbook app

Green Kitchen App

Yesterday, we wrote about the success of the cookbook Jerusalem - success partically driven by social media. Since we were discussing the effects of technology on cookbooks, we decided to delve into a related area, and share this article from App Storm on what makes a good cookbook app.

In The Future of Cookbook Apps on iPad, Jessica O'Toole first differentiates between the first cookbook apps - which were essentially recipe eBooks - and the current ones: "What's the difference between an e-book and a cookbook app? I would say it comes down to useful tools and immersive design features. In the beginning, it was OK to slap recipes and pretty food photos together and call it an app. Those are the dinosaurs - the one-dimensional cookbook apps falling by the wayside as other developers create three-dimensional cooking experiences by engaging users and providing helpful tools."

Then she explains, "The best cookbook apps engage users in four ways: providing an immersive browsing experience, using multimedia features to enhance storytelling, encouraging users to interact with the app and regularly adding new content. In the old days, linear apps heavy on text and table of contents-style navigation were acceptable, but today it's all about creating an immersive experience, transporting the user to another world to discover and bringing the recipes to life."

Jessica discusses several apps that illustrate her points: 

Green Kitchen and Green Kitchen Desserts, which she presents for their visual aspect.

Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which brings Julia Child to life, and  Nigellisima, which includes several personal stories with Nigella, represent storytelling.

Sara Jenkins' New Italian Pantry and Smoothies from Whole Living are  noted for their interactive features.

And Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything stays lively by constantly adding new content and classes.

The article goes into greater depth and provides illustrations and links, so feel free to check it out. And if any of you have an App you can't live without, please share.

Photo of Green Kitchen App by App Storm


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