We’ve all re-visited a restaurant and after bit of menu wandering just cannot remember the amazing dish we had when we were here two months ago. It was the best thing you’d ever had and you told yourself you wouldn’t forget, but you did. Or maybe you’re trying to recreate that fantastic dinner you cooked up a few weeks ago, but you can’t remember exactly what you included in that salad. You knew you’d remember because it was so good, but guess what? You forgot.
Memorable Meals gives you a crutch in scenarios like these and some others as well. It allows you to quickly and easily catalog meals and their details to help you remember them. Seems like a killer idea, but how does it work?
Design & Interface
Memorable Meals is built with a minimalistic, and simplistic notion. The first thing you’ll notice is that it feels as if you’ve just pulled out a basic, spiral reporter-style notebook from your pocket. The application was built to be able to quickly record meals and things you’d like to remember about them. The home screen only has two options. You can either add a new meal or view your existing meals. Those two options accompanied by a beautiful logo and overall style put off an really nice style and comforting feeling.
The developers make note of the fact that Memorable Meals “is focused on simplicity and ease of use” and that is very evident as you move throughout the application. The form to add a meal is simple enough to quickly complete as it has several canned tags and options (we’ll go through this in more detail shortly), but allows enough information to be input so that your entries are easily sortable and useful down the road. A nice balance between giving you what you need and giving you more than you’ll use really does create a simplistic and easy to use interface.
Some may argue that there aren’t enough features and options available, but for the purpose of quickly recording a meal to refer back to later the design of the interface feels perfect.
Add a Meal
Obviously, this is a core feature of the application. From the home screen you simply tap “add a meal” and the form to do this will slide up from the bottom of the display. Each new meal form will allow you to enter a specific set of details for the meal. You’re able to select the date though the use of a spinner if you’d like. It will default to the current date as that will more than likely be the case. Naming the meal will then be your next task. From there you can enter in some more details to help you remember this meal from some pre-established categories and tags.
There is no way to create your own tags and if you were like me you’re concerned that could be a serious hindrance. After a little thought and some use I realized that with an application with a more narrow focus (meals in this situation) there isn’t a big need for a lot of customization. The categories and tags available are sufficient for cataloging meals to remember and in fact, removing that level of customization simplifies the application further. It’s something you don’t have to worry about. Record your meal and pick a couple categories and tags if they apply and you’re done.
Photos are also a big part of cataloging your memorable meals. Right within the new meal form you’re able to take a photo or grab one from your camera roll. There is also an option to record a voice note up to two minutes in length. Sometimes there is more to note than you’d like to write and this is a nice feature to cover that gap.
I did notice one issue with the voice note recording. When you go back into a previous entry to edit it and record a voice entry the photo for the entry gets removed! You see the thumbnail in the My Meals list, but the full size photo doesn’t display on the full entry. Not a major problem but from what I can see it is a glitch in the current version.
Oddly, with the exception of a date, which is inserted automatically, none of the fields are required. If you don’t want to include a photo or a tag you can just leave those spaces blank. It makes sense to include as much info as you’re able to and it is quite easy to do that, but the application doesn’t force you to include anything.
Once you’ve got the information you’d like to capture recorded, tap the save button at the top. You’ll be taken right back to the home screen ready to record another memorable meal or view your meal listing.
You’ve built up a considerable number of meals you’d like to remember and now you want to go find that Lobster Mac & Cheese you had a couple months ago. The My Meals list is organized to start by the most recent record. You’ll see a thumbnail of the image with the meal (if there is one) along with the date, categories, and meal name.
There are filter buttons that can be activated and deactivated at the bottom of the list. For example if you’re interested in filter down to dinner meals you’ve had at restaurants simply activate those two filter buttons and the list responds. You’ll also find a live search function at the top of the list. Nothing like a live search to find what you’re looking for when you can’t exactly remember.
Tap on a meal to open it up and view all of the details. You’ll be presented with the full size photo along with all of the information you included in the original post. Tapping on the listing will flip to a more minimal style listing without the image.
You’ll be able to share your listing from either view to Twitter, Facebook, or send it to someone via Email.
I’ll admit I was a little worried about the simplicity about this application when I opened it for the first time. I felt like I needed more. The truth is the developers have done a nice job of allowing enough options to allow you to record information about meals in a meaningful and useful way, but not so much so that you get lost in the process. By making the process to document a meal quick and easy I will guarantee I am much more apt to use it.
Memorable Meals is priced at $1.99 which is a very reasonable price. This application was designed in a very thoughtful way to be as useful in it’s intent as possible and I think the developers nailed it.