Cook's Companion App

Category: 

Description of App: 

Stephanie Alexander's Cook's Companion App will be your digital cooking companion every day in the kitchen. The free App includes a sample bundle containing Pasta & Noodles recipes, ingredient information and a how-to video. In-App purchases provide access to a staggering 2000 recipes and information about 126 ingredients, from abalone to zucchini, as contained in the bestselling classic book, 'The Cook's Companion'. The unique structure by ingredient and the clear and comprehensive advice from Australia's foremost food educator are complemented by: - quick search or browse a bundle, by ingredient or recipe - photos for each ingredient, and over 200 dishes - how-to videos for tricky techniques - favourites function, so you can compile your own most loved dishes - ability to email an ingredient list to help with shopping - note function, so you can make the App your own NOTE The Cook's Companion App is free to download and includes a sample bundle containing Pasta & Noodles. Further convenient bundles are available for In-App purchase: - Vegetables & Herbs - Fruit & Nuts - Meat - Poultry & Rabbit - Rice, Grains & Pulses - Seafood - Pantry The indispensable Basics & Equipment bundle can also be purchased, but is provided FREE with your first bundle purchase. Buy the complete Cook's Companion App up-front to save 10% on the cost of all bundles purchase individually.

Apple Watch Support: 

Not Known

Version: 

1.1

Free or Paid: 

Free

Device(s) App Was Tested On: 

iPhone

iOS Version: 

9

Accessibility Comments: 

This app works extremely well with VoiceOver, with a couple of exceptions which I will detail shortly. Most of my testing was done on an iPad 3, but the iPhone 5 works well, though in the iPhone version, there are a few unlabelled buttons which are easy to figure out. Menu items and buttons have mostly been clearly labeled and operate as expected, except for the "back" buttons in the iPhone version. The screen layout is easy to navigate with VoiceOver gestures. All text information, such as ingredient info and recipe details are accessible with VoiceOver. The videos play as expected, searching works as it should and you are able to access linked references to other recipes/information via a "references" button. If using the iPhone 5 in portrait mode, recipes are divided into three sections: Story, Ingredients and Method. If you perform a one-finger flick through the information in any of these sections, VoiceOver may behave erratically and jump to the top of the Story section once you reach the end of the information for that screen. This can easily be remedied by navigating back to the top of the relevant section, or selecting another from the three choices, displayed as buttons at the bottom of the screen. The Ingredients information pages are divided into sections, a description of the ingredient and a list of relevant recipes. Above this recipe list are some unlabelled buttons which you can page through with a three-finger swipe left or right, which can nevertheless be activated with VoiceOver. These are "Exprecipes" which are small recipes which incorporate the ingredient. Double tapping on these brings up the recipe as usual, but the titles of each exprecipe are not announced from the Ingredient page. There are two work-arounds for this. Either double tap on each one as described above, or access all the recipes through the "Styles of Dish" section. This includes Exprecipes and regular recipes in a list form. Overall, this app is a pleasure to use with VoiceOver and I am in the process of reporting the issues I have found to the developers. I am still exploring all app features and will update this review as I find things out.

VoiceOver Performance: 

VoiceOver reads all page elements.

Button Labeling: 

Most buttons are clearly labeled.

Usability: 

There are some minor accessibility issues with this app, but they are easy to deal with.

Other Comments: 

Stephanie Alexander is an Australian culinary icon and the Cook's Companion App is the electronic version of her cookbook, The Cook's Companion. Many regard the hard copy book as a "kitchen bible", and the app provides several enhancements to the book content that are only possible electronically. The app includes 2000 recipes (most of which are available through in-app purchases) and comprehensive information on 126 ingredients. There is a section on measurement conversions and a glossary of ingredients and terms which may not be widely known or understood. Recipes are divided into bundles for easy searching, and you can browse by ingredient, type of dish and use the comprehensive search feature. You are able to email ingredients from a recipe, make notes on individual recipes and favourite recipes for later. The free version of this app comes with a starter bundle called "Pasta and Noodles", containing recipes and ingredients relevant to pasta. More bundles can be purchased individually through in-app purchases, or bought all together for a one-off cost within the app. The other bundles available include Vegetables and Herbs, Meat, Pantry, Seafood, Fruit and Nuts, Rices Grains and Pulses, Poultry and Rabbit and Basics and Equipment. By purchasing the entire package, you are able to access all of the recipes and ingredient information. There are also some how-to videos which demonstrate techniques such as making bread, rolling pasta and chopping an onion. The videos are very clearly filmed for low vision users and the commentary is relevant and clearly describes the techniques shown in the video in detail. Unlike other recipe apps, The Cook's Companion App does not contain a shopping list, cooking timer or the ability to add your own recipes. This is purely a reference app and is the most comprehensive I have seen to date. Content is Australia-centric, but is still a valuable resource for cooks everywhere.

Developer's Twitter Username: 

@GrowCookEat