Developer: HINDSIGHT LABS
Price: $9.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

I’ve toyed around with several methods of saving recipes on my iPad. Epicurious is a nice, well-designed app, but it only allows searching of its own internal database of recipes. It’s useful as a way of discovering new meal ideas, but not helpful as a repository of every good recipe I’ve come across.

My most recent choice has been Springpad, a note-taking app somewhat like Evernote, but with custom categories, like recipes, built in. Plus, Springpad has the advantage of an installable web clipper for Safari (yes, it even works in the iPad’s version of Safari, but not without some wrangling) so you can clip recipes from just about any site. It’s not perfect – far from it, actually, but it has proven useful enough for me to keep around.

Now comes Paprika, a new recipe storage app for the iPad. I have to admit that I wasn’t particularly predisposed to find Paprika helpful (and its $9.99 price tag didn’t help this impression), but I quickly discovered that it may be the best dedicated recipe app I’ve encountered yet.

Paprika presents users with a blank slate. There are no included recipes or databases or even celebrity chef endorsements. It’s designed from the bottom up as a compendium of every recipe you encounter, either in print or online. As such at first glance it appears fairly spare, without even a flashy splash page to indicate it has been launched. But once you start adding recipes, you will discover its value immediately.

You can, of course, enter your own recipes entirely manually, but the most intriguing feature is the ability to auto import recipes from various food sites online. Paprika includes a web browser, so it’s a simple matter to pull up a favorite recipe site and tap “Save Recipe.” When it works like it’s supposed to, each aspect of the recipe – from the photo to the ingredients to the directions – imports into its own category, so you’re done with one simple tap.

Notice that I said “when it works.” My only major gripe with Paprika is that I’ve gotten more “Cannot Import Recipe” error messages than I have had successful imports. It seems to work fine on sites like foodnetwork.com, but, strangely, it does not work with cookingchanneltv.com, a sister network to the Food Network. Why this is I have no idea.

However, if you’re stuck in a situation where you can’t auto import, the developers of Paprika have included a method for copying each element of the recipe into their app. For instance, all you have to do is click on the photo of the recipe in the web browser and Paprika will ask if you want to make the image the main one for that recipe. You can then do the same for the title of the recipe, the ingredients and the instructions. It’s not as elegant as the auto import, but it is easier than other methods.

One last minor gripe is that the app will only work in landscape mode. I’m not sure of the reasoning behind this, as I like to use my iPad in portrait mode when cooking. My hope is that this will be cleared up in a future update.

The bottom line is, if you cook often and need to sort through recipes quickly and efficiently (not to mention generate shopping lists on the fly), Paprika is a terrific app and well worth the price.

Posted in: iPad Apps and Games, iPad Health & Fitness, Reviews

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