Developer: The Entertainment Company
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The story of the creation of Fridge Police started with a simple problem that David Jack often ran into. "I would find a moldy container in the back of the fridge and would wish that there was an easy way to keep track of how long something has been open in my refrigerator."
Instead of acting like a typical person, he decided to take it upon himself to create an app that could track all the items that he bought. With his app he would be able to account for any item in his fridge, ending his (and everyone else's) long standing food expiration problem.
The app that he created, Fridge Police, is a nicely organized app that lets you easily add items to your "My Items" list to be tracked by the food calendar. As your food expires, the app lets you know via push message so that you can dispose of it easily, or at least have the ability to eat the item as it's getting near expiration.
Adding items, the key to the apps success, is a bit trickier than it should be, though. The app has an included barcode scanner that detects most big brand items, but if it's not detectable (like most of the items in my fridge), you have to go into manual entry. There is a "Quick Add" option, but it just has a few basics (milk, soda, bread, cheese, eggs). To me, and I'd bet most of the app using population, manually adding each item of food you open can quickly become a tedious process.
To be successful, the app really needs to add a few things. For starters, the quick add list needs to be editable, and all apps that you have manually entered should be instantly shot over to the quick add list for repeat purchases. Also, you should be able to edit the expiration date on quick add items, because not all items (i.e. milk) goes bad at the same rate. Most importantly, the barcode scanning option needs to find way more items than it does. While it's great to find most big company items, there needs to be much more support for regional brands. Finally, the barcode scanner itself needs to take its time. Maybe it does indeed scan the barcodes correctly, but it seems to me that the scanner just quits the second it gets a peek at an barcode. Even if it is processing data that fast, make it take a bit, just so I don't think the app is giving up on me.
The goal of the App Store, from its creation, was to have it be filled with a bunch of apps that would make people's lives better. Apps like Fridge Police should definitely be rewarded for ingenuity, but they need to have better execution if they want to hit the big time. Given some updates, Fridge Police could be a real winner, but at the moment it would almost be easier to read the expiration date right off the container.