Some people were born to cook. I’ve seen people that start with a couple of ingredients and end up making culinary masterpieces, after being under total control all the time. Then there’s people like me, who even with recipes, mom’s instructions and recommendations from friends, fail miserably at kitchen-related stuff. For all of those in between (lucky you), there’s Yummly, an app that provides detailed recipes under an attractive interface to spice up your evenings.
When opening the app, it will ask to connect the app to either Google, Facebook or email. Fortunately, for those of us who prefer to not have an account on every app in the Play Store, you can try Yummly without any account or social media integration. However, this won’t let you record your preferences and other personalization aspects.
Yummly uses your social media information to offer you personalized recommendations. If you prefer to do this manually, every recipe has a Yum button, which is just a like button. Based on the things you “Yum,” the app will start to offer you new recommendations.
Finally, to complete the setup, Yummly kindly asks you for the Storage permission, in order to cache pictures displayed in recipes. You can say no if you want, though. I must say that, in an environment notorious for asking permissions that go beyond the app’s purpose, this is a neat approach that should be replicated by other developers.
The app is divided into three sections: Just for you, Explore and Store. You can probably guess what each section is, but I’ll explain anyways. Yummly puts a lot of focus on personalization and making it yours, so the Just for you section is completely tailored for you. Based on your Yums and the restrictions you can put in place in the options (more on that later), Yummly will personalize this for you.
The Explore tab groups different recipes under categories. For example, there is a popular category that (you guessed it) shows recipes that have caught the attention of Yummly users. Other categories include Trending Now, Seasonal and Kid Friendly.
There’s also a videos section in which very detailed videos are posted so that you can visually examine how difficult or easy a recipe is and what the final result looks like. This is done through a built-in YouTube player that works seamlessly.
Finally, the Shop tab doesn’t let you actually buy stuff within the app, but gives useful recommendations about what tools you can buy to make your life easier in the kitchen. Clicking on these recommendations will take you to Amazon, where you can order said tools.
As you might expect it, Yummly puts recipes front and center. Every recipe is accompanied with a very nice picture of how the end result is supposed to look like (expectation vs reality memes incoming). The details screen will also include information about ingredients, calories and the time it takes to do the recipe.
The list of ingredients can be added to a built-in shopping list at the tap of a button. You can also see the reviews other people are giving to the recipe, so that you can decide on if it is worth it or not. Finally, the app suggests similar dishes and categories so that you can continue your search further if you are not satisfied.
However, where are the directions for making the dish itself? Unfortunately, you have to click an additional button that will take you to an embedded web view.
This weird design choice is completely disruptive to the awesome experience the app provides elsewhere. I am not sure of the technical reason behind this but adding a button to see directions seems like a half-baked approach and something that, hopefully, will change in the future.
On the top left, you will see a search button, which lets you search through the whole database of recipes. There’s also a button to access the shopping list.
Digging further into it, we can see that the shopping list is very simple but effective. You can add the ingredients from any recipe and sort them by aisle or by recipes. In case you need something else, you can also add it manually. It is nothing ground-breaking but it gets the job done in a nice way.
Yummly’s UI is one of the most beautiful I’ve seen in an Android app. I know it is not straightforward to make a good-looking app on Android, especially if you compare it to iOS, but the Yummly team has done an amazing job at it.
Even though I know some people would complain that the app displays way too little information at a time, I believe that the approach used by Yummly works. It is imperative to show a picture of the recipe as early as possible, and the combination of beautiful pictures and smooth performance makes for an awesome user experience.
The recipe screen is also a highlight of the user interface, with the picture taking the limelight here with a beautiful Material Design-inspired animation. The nutrition facts, for example, are very well presented and they even have a slick animation. At least you’re killing your diet in a beautiful way.
I have good news for our distinguished vegetarian/vegan readers. The app supports four different variations (lacto vegetarian, vegetarian, ovo vegetarian and vegan) so that the results you get are tailored to your preferences. Plus, it also caters to pescetarian and paleo diets.
If you’re allergic to specific stuff, such as dairy or peanuts, then there’s the option of hiding these recipes as well. Gluten-free options are also available. If you are absolutely disgusted with a specific ingredient (sorry, I can’t stand shrimps), there’s a huge database of ingredients you can search from.
Through a gorgeous interface, snappy performance and plethora of filters, Yummly provides thousands of recipes for those who love cooking. Aside from some inconveniences, such as the fact that you need to open a web view to see directions, or some loading issues when first starting the app, Yummly is a superb choice if you are looking to improve your culinary prowess.