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Apps for the kitchen: Cooking up a storm with smartphone chefs
Sanshey Biswas  20th Dec 2014

he food delivery business has definitely benefitted from the introduction of apps like Foodpanda and Zomato, which help to zero in on a place with the assistance of ratings and reviews. The real innovation, though, has been in the "cooking assistance app" field. Using a tablet with your hands covered in flour or water is not advisable. That's when you need apps to tell you there's another way.

Cooking with Knit 

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If you're among the lucky few that own a Google Glass, Knit has demonstrated how a user with literally no cooking skills can use this app to whip up Gressingham Duck with very little extra effort. The app guides the user through the intricate steps and even answers queries like "Should I peel the ginger before chopping it?" with a YouTube video that explains how a spoon is the ideal weapon to accomplish this task.

My CookBook (Recipe Manager) for Android

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Since Google Glass isn't a luxury most can afford, Android Wear has been dabbling in cooking with the partnering of smart device apps like My CookBook and Cookpad Recipes. The apps bring you recipes based on the keywords you throw at them. Before you start cooking, or even you set out to shop for ingredients, you can export the recipe to your smartwatch. Having the recipe on your smartwatch is convenient because it allows you to flip between steps with a swipe of the chin even when your hands are messy.

iCookbook

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If you're feeling left out because you don't own a Google Glass or a smartwatch, don't fret. One of the first attempts to make cooking easier for users of smart devices with messy hands was via iOS. Even though the iCookbook app is available on all the popular platforms, only iOS lets a user flip through the steps in a recipe with voice commands. You can look up recipes based on occasion, ingredients, cusine, ratings or try out the featured ones for the month. You can also use tools like how-to videos and a conversions and substitutions guide to enhance your versatility in the kitchen. The app also has special recipe packs for things like gourmet burgers or silly snacks from time to time.

Food & Drink for Windows

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For PC or Windows tablets, the advent of Windows 8 brought a package of new apps for work and play. The Food & Drink app really stood out. Borrowing the hands-free controls from predecessors, the user interface was the new Metro UI. It allowed the food to take centre-stage by hiding the settings, controls et al off-screen (a swipe would bring them back). Besides looking at food-related stories and news, the apps also served as a recipe book. You can add recipes to the app by uploading pictures or scanned images from a recipe jotted down on paper. When you're in a recipe, not only does the hands-free mode let you navigate with gestures, a meal planner lets you come up with an entire course based on the collection of recipes you build over time.

When it comes to cooking, apps can only be useful to a limited degrees of effect. That's why we've also seen projects setting out to create devices that monitor and assist our diet — devices like Vessyl, a sipper that monitors your calorie intake, to Chop-Syc, a smart chopping board that also serves as a PC and weighing machine that guides you through and modifies recipes on the fly.

 
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