Is Cooking Light’s App a recipe for a great App?
I recently stumbled upon Cooking Light’s new iPhone and iPad app. Since they were originally founded in Birmingham and because I know many former Cooking Light employees, I was very curious about the app. I’m also a fan of the magazine in general.Cooking Light created a very attractive app. The photography is very well done and some of the features are very nice. I love that you can create a meal and it will tally up the nutritional information. Considering their demographic, this is key!
However, that’s where the good news seems to stop. They’ve made a bunch of mistakes. First they charged $3.99 for the app which is fine but will severely limit the audience. So I wonder if the goal of the app was to make money or to extend the brand? Second, they put ads in an expensive app. They are getting crushed on reviews for this. Rightly so in my opinion. Consumers expect an ad-free app if they pay for it, especially if it’s $3.99. Third, they included only 300 recipes. When you take out categories you might not eat like vegetarian or seafood, it becomes an even smaller set of recipes. They most likely did this because of the photography. However, should they have sacrificed using so many photos for more recipes? There is some stiff competition in the food app category. Apps like Epicurious have many more recipes and are free. Finally, it seems to be missing a search. In an app for recipes, it should have a great search. The developers can’t have used their own app otherwise they would have realized it was missing an important feature.
Hopefully, Cooking Light will listen to the feedback and quickly fix the problems. There is a real opportunity to make this app a big winner and something Apple would feature.
Updated: Jun 20, 2011