When we talk about iPhone apps related to recipes and cooking, there are several that are available. All tantalizing, and all promising nutritious meals for the family; both BigOven and UCook have fundamental differences that allow them to appeal to different audiences.
BigOven is developed and distributed by Lakefront Software Inc. this company was incorporated in 2004 and focuses on the creation of leisure consumer software. Founded by Steve Murch, formerly from Microsoft Corporation, the focus is currently on enhancing the application and content of BigOven. UCook is developed by GSN – Grocery Shopping Network which was incepted in April, 2006. Besides UCook, GSN also features products such as SKU Finder and e-grocery.com.
Head2Head: A comparison of app features between BigOven and UCook
The big appeal of BigOven is the fact that it is a handy mobile app that stores lots of recipe for the wanna-be-chefs. This means that it is possible to take the recipes and the related grocery lists into the stores with you as you shop. There have been more than 4 million downloads of this software to date and BigOven has won awards as well by a variety of well-known publications. What makes BigOven even more appealing, particularly in this very portable version, is the easy to search features, and the fact that the app seems to almost be able to sort out what needs to be done with leftovers, specific ingredients, that special dessert etc. It feels almost intuitive using BigOven not only in terms of its features, but also in terms of the output from the app itself.
After a few experiments with BigOven, it is rather cool that you can contribute your own recipes as well. This will have to be done on the BigOven.com website although it is possible to upload photos of the recipe and the recipe itself, and view your efforts on your iPhone! In addition, with the social networking craze, the fact that this app can allow users to share instantly via Facebook, Twitter and a host of other social networking platforms, has its own merits – and this is even before you’ve stepped into the kitchen. It is possible to upgrade to pro-membership at $15.99 a year although in reality, there is really no need to do this if you are using the app irregularly in the course of your cooking endeavors.
Once of the niftiest features is the ability to shop with this app – take the grocery list to the store, tick off the items as you fill your grocery cart, check recipes while exploring other ingredients at the store, get nutrition facts on the run. The list of things that can be done with this one app is endless. By comparison, UCook has its own allure. Digital weekly circulars from specific grocers (although you will need to check whether the grocers are within your physical location as a common complaint is that the grocers listed are about 300 miles away!), an interactive recipe listing of more than 60,000 free recipes, and tips and tricks to help you in the kitchen as well.
It is also possible to access more than 50 video recipes although you are advised to do this online and it is in essence, watching a cooking show that you can follow in the kitchen. It appears that the only real limitation about this app is the geographical location of the stores mentioned. It is likely that they will expand the listing and the areas and localities as they upgrade versions, so a little patience might be in order for this one.
Both apps rate 4+ on at the iTunes store although feedback from users seems to suggest that BigOven has a larger following. There appears to be more technical and logistic problems with UCook than with BigOven.
Currently, both apps are free for any users to try out.
In a nutshell
Both apps are great but it seems that BigOven is ahead as far as the combination of the number of recipes, greater national coverage in terms of grocers and other suppliers, higher levels of interactivity in relation to the app itself, and a better interface is concerned. The fact that BigOven allows users to contribute is a big boon as the users will feel like part of a community and this is a key selling feature. UCook still needs some work; however it is probably only a matter of time before they get there. Their great features are the videos online as well as the tips and tricks that are easily available.
Head2Head winner: BigOven
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