As an iPhone user who has been curious about the Gourmet Live app, I was excited to see the release of the new iPhone app, which has access to the same recipes, articles and photos previously only available for the iPad. Although the basic download is free, many of the extra features require an annual subscription — but is it worth it?
The basic app includes a weekly issue with 7-8 articles and recipes, and the ability to mark up to 12 items as "favorites." As you read through each issue, you earn bonus issues, usually collections of related recipes which are added to your library. If you stick with the basic, free download, those recipes disappear after a week. If, however, you pay $9.99 for an annual SuperFavorites membership, you can save an unlimited number of recipes and articles, even from expired bonus issues.
I see many of the same positives and negatives that Emma did when she reviewed the iPad app back in October. The photos are beautiful and much of the content is well-written, so it's nice to have on my phone when I'm waiting around and need something to read. It's not Gourmet magazine — not even close! — but I've come to terms with that.
Unfortunately, the app is still buggy, crashing and freezing up frequently. There is a bonus issue of San Francisco summer recipes I want to check out that expires in three days, and I've yet to successfully load it.
But it's not for its instability that I won't be buying a subscription for the Gourmet Live app. It just doesn't seem worth it. Nearly all of the recipes in the bonus issues are recycled from previous print issues of the magazine, and can be found for free on Epicurious. And because I don't find it convenient to cook from recipes on my phone, buying the subscription for even the one or two new recipes in each weekly issue doesn't appeal to me.
I will continue to read and enjoy the free weekly issues, and might even think about shelling out 99 cents for a back issue or two, but mostly I'll be missing the old Gourmet.
Do you have the Gourmet Live app? What do you think?
(Image: Gourmet Live)