I noticed Gourmet Live in the App Store for iPad and I thought I would give it a try. I have to admit, I have not been much of a foodie for most of my life. But, as I get older, it is just fun to create awesome meals for friends and family. Gourmet Live is different than other magazine-type apps on the App Store. For starters, the Magazine is online (only 1.9MB to download); you need an Internet connection to get to your content. The app seemed to download content in the background when you launch it, then makes all of it available for offline use. Slick, I like it.
The articles in Gourmet Live are well written and use excellent photography to bring the stories to life; they have really done a great job. You get your usual stories, etc. However at first I was stunned that there were no apparent recipes! How can this be, it's Gourmet Magazine! Don't worry, the recipes are there you just have to "earn" them by using Gourmet Live's innovative rewards system. As you browse and share content via Twitter or Facebook, the app will occasionally give you a pop-up indicating you have unlocked a reward and it begins downloading that content. You can immediately view it or reference it later. As you read an article you can choose to change your font size (three sizes are available) and put an article into favorites for reference later. Overall, the app is responsive and fast, oh and did I mention it's free? That's right free. The funny thing is I have not seen a single ad so far.
Something else I have noticed that seems to be a trend that is about to happen on the iPad App scene. Gourmet Live is only viewable in portrait, no landscape here folks. I suppose this is not too much of an issue as there is a substantial amount of expense to reformat pages, etc for landscape as opposed to portrait. If this becomes the norm for this style of App I am ok with it as long as it is free, as in this case, or publishers begin to use a subscription option so I'm not paying $4.99 an issue WITH ads.
If this is the future of print magazines I for one, like it. Sure, you don't have the high level of interaction as the Wired app for iPad, but what you do get is a straight forward viewing and content experience for those of us that like the simpler things and, oh yeah, good food.
[Free- iTunes Link]
- Great content
- Innovative rewards system
- Small file size (this issue is 1.9MB)
- No landscape
- Content must download in background before viewing
[gallery link="file" columns="2"]