This free iOS app makes discovering new recipes fun and easy.
At first blush, the Foodily iOS app appears to be a mobile Twitter-like feed for foodies. By following friends, famous chefs, and food bloggers, you get a feed of recipes, from which you can create a favorites list, comment on, or share via e-mail or Facebook. Where the app really shines, however, is with its search functionality, which helps you narrow your efforts in the vast sea of recipes online.
When you launch the app, you'll be asked to sign in via Facebook or e-mail. Choose the former, and you'll easily be able to post recipes you find on Foodily on your Facebook page and invite Facebook friends to join Foodily.
After signing in, the next order of business is to build your Foodily feed. Tap the people icon from the bottom menu bar and then tap the Suggested tab at the top of the screen. Here you'll find about a dozen food bloggers, authors, and for some reason, meat-loving comedian Rob Riggle listed. Tap the red Follow button to add them to your feed. If you go to Foodily's site, you'll find a few more people to follow who aren't listed in the iOS app. Hopefully, the suggested lists will expand as Foodily takes off. You can also invite your Facebook friends to join Foodily. Tap the Add friends tab next to the Suggested tab and scroll through a potentially long list to send invites.
To get a look at the recipes people are talking (and blogging) about, tap the Feed button. You'll get a chronological list of the recipes published on the various sites, personalities, and friends you are following. Tap on an item from your feed and you're taken to a Foodily page with a larger image of the dish, its ingredients, and nutrition information. At the bottom are four options: Fave, Comment, Share, Add photo. Tap Fave to add the recipe to your favorites page, which you can access from Foodily's home screen. You can add comments to the dish; the Share button lets you share via e-mail or Facebook; and the Add photo button lets you add your own photo of the dish in question. Before uploading a photo, you can turn on Foodily's Yummify slider, which enhances your photo to make it look as appealing as possible.
You can take a picture or grab one from your camera roll without leaving the app, but you will need to leave the app if you want to see the steps required to actually make a dish. All that is included within the app for any recipe are the ingredients and nutrition details. At the bottom of each recipe is a link that takes you to the Web site where the recipe originated, where you can read about the preparation. Unfortunately, many of the sites you are thrown to aren't formatted for the iPhone.
While the number of people you are able to follow feels restricted at this point, Foodily's search functionality does not. You'll find a search bar at the top of the Fave and Feed pages, as well as the settings page. (The only settings you might want to adjust are when Foodily e-mails you notifications.) You can search by ingredient (basil, chocolate, etc.), dish (carnitas, fish tacos), meal (breakfast, lunch), publication (Cook's Illustrated, Food & Wine), and personality (Alton Brown, Mark Bittman). You can also combine search terms to get, say, a list of Alton Brown's breakfast recipes. From within any search, if you scroll down below the results, you'll find a list of modifiers to narrow your search as well as a list of related searches. After spending time with search tool, I found myself relying a lot less on my nascent Foodily feed. It finds recipes from sources outside of those you can follow in your feed.
At present, the Foodily app feels a bit undercooked. As more sources are added and more of your friends join, however, it should improve. For now, Foodily's best feature is its search functionality, which you can use to find recipes on the go.