Developer: Television Food Network
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 2.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

iPad Integration Rating: ★★★½☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★☆☆
Re-use Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Offering tasty treats galore, plus some rather unique savory cupcake options, Food Network Cupcakes! is a rather delightful app for those with an urge to bake. Unfortunately, it’s let down slightly by the presence of adverts in a paid app and a mildly confusing interface.

foodnetworkcupcakes5Reminiscent of an interactive book, rather than a conventional app, Food Network Cupcakes! relies upon swipes and a basic menu system for navigation. The menu system is divided up into different categories, encompassing how to frost and decorate properly, how to make savory cakes, as well as the tools and resources needed to get the perfect look. This side of things is clear, but once one delves into swiping around, it feels slightly more confusing.

Taps and swipes get users more involved on a page but at times, it’s easy to swipe in the “wrong” way and go elsewhere, or be confused as to what to tap and where. It’s all very pretty, but it’s lacking a more straight forward interface. Sometimes, practicality is more useful than style.

The actual content, fortunately, is quite ideal, offering attractive imagery to tantalize the tastebuds as well as clearly laid out instructions and ingredient lists. Plenty of detail on how to frost accurately as well as assemble the treat is particularly welcome. Videos add to the assistance and are great for figuring out piping in particular. It’s a shame then that content is occasionally broken up by adverts, something that really shouldn’t be seen in a paid app.

With a healthy dash of imagination, both in terms of making a cheeseburger cupcake and in terms of some more healthy sprinkles ideas, Food Network Cupcakes! is the full package in terms of content. It just lacks a bit of careful thought in the design department. Mixing coffee table book with practical recipe app only goes so far and at times, I longed for a more grid based interface to navigate or the ability to change measurement types. I’ll still be returning for some tasty recipe ideas, though.

Posted in: iPad Apps and Games, iPad Food & Drink, Reviews

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