We’ve heard about Conde Nast’s plans for iPad apps to showcase the publisher’s magazine content but with the release of apps on Apple’s App Store ahead of Saturday’s iPad launch, I found a gem of an app that would satisfy the tastes of any cook out there. Epicurious, which combines the content of shuttered magazine Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Self and user generated recipes, is a popular recipe database that features over 100,000 recipes, menus, articles, food guides and more. The cooking site’s companion, free iPad app just launched, and as an avid cook, it looks like a winner.
The app, which is similar in features to its sister iPhone app, is essentially a tabbed digital cookbook which allows you to access 27,000 recipes from both Gourmet and Bon Appetit. You can browse recipe collections, search via keyword, and filter your searches by what’s in your fridge, seasonal foods, holidays and more. You can add any recipe to your favorites box to save it as well as email recipes to yourself and others.
You can also add ingredients from your saved recipes to shopping lists and check off items as you buy them. What would be really useful is if your accounts on your iPhone and iPad apps could sync so that you could use your iPhone for your shopping lists on the go, and use your iPad for browsing recipes and to visualize recipes in the kitchen. Another compelling feature would be the ability for other users (i.e. a husband, wife or roommate) to add to the shopping list from a different device. At this point it’s unclear if you can sync accounts between devices.
The nature of the iPad may breathe new life into cooking and recipe apps. While reading recipes on the iPhone and other mobile devices while cooking can be tough; the iPad’s large screen simulates a digital cookbook. And we all know that the iPad will be used as an e-book, allowing users to download and access cookbooks directly from their device in addition to using apps like Epicurious’ offering.
According to a recent survey conducted by Epicurious competitor AllRecipes, one out of five people bring their laptops into the kitchen to access recipes. However, the drawback to the iPad entering the kitchen is that it is a dangerous place for a laptop, with significant threats of spills onto keyboards. But the iPad should come with protective screens and stands, making it safer to use in the chaos of the kitchen. AllRecipes is also planning to launch an iPad app in the near future.
Epicurious isn’t the only Conde Nast property with an iPad app to make into the store ahead of time. GQ’s app hit the App Store today and costs $2.99 to download.
Read our full list of the best iPad apps at launch here.