Publications International Ltd.’s iCookBook App for iPhone and iPad contains hundreds of yummy recipes complete with pictures and easy to follow instructions. These are recipes for the ordinary cook who just wants to prepare interesting and tasty meals for family and friends. Users have the opportunity to add thousands more recipes, some as in-app purchases and some as free downloads. Users may also add their own.
The iCookBook app is found in the Lifestyle category on the iTunes store. It requires iOS 4.0 or later, is available in English only and is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4/4S, iPod touch (3rd/4th generation), and iPad. The MSRP for the app is US$4.99, and a single copy works on any of your iOS products running iOS 4.0 or greater.
The app includes basic voice commands. For instance, the user can say “next” or “back” to flip pages. Handy when your hands are covered in dough. However, if there is a lot of noise in the background, the app may not be able to distinguish your voice. Using the voice command feature is as easy as tapping a button.
Voice Command button activates vocal directions
When you find a recipe that you like, you tap the recipe box icon at the top of the page and the recipe is saved in your personal recipe file. Recipes can be removed from your files by tapping on the red circle at the top of each recipe.
Each month there are numerous free recipes that can be downloaded and added to the app with a simple tap on the name of the month. There are also additional recipes available for in-app purchase.
On the right side of each page is a Tools button. This button gives access to features of the app, such as an extensive substitutions list, a conversions chart, a shopping list, and even a place to set a timer for your project.
Using the product
I found this app to be very user friendly. The photos are large, the print is large, and the directions are easy to follow. It is possible to do a search, either using the built in parameters, or with your own. For example, I did a search for “breakfast,” and a large number of recipes immediately popped up. I did find that it was expedient to place any recipe that looked interesting in my recipe box the first time I saw it rather than going through a search process to find it later, particularly since it is so easy to remove any I decide I don’t want to keep.
I tested the app by preparing Apple Pecan Pastries. It’s a tough job I have, but someone has to do it. Aside from the fact that the food was terrific, the recipe was easy to follow and easy to make.
Do I recommend it?
I do. It’s easy to use, useful, and makes it easy to expand your meal options. The monthly free recipes are a nice bonus.