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Old 01-08-2014, 04:10 PM   #1
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Default Disappointed in iOS brewing apps

I’ve been doing some pretty extensive reading regarding brewing software, and I finally took the plunge and bought BeerSmith on iOS. After playing around with it for a short while, I wanted to rip my hair out. What atrocious design! Granted, I’m very, very new to this, but I could barely navigate my war around the app without wanting to cry (not really).

So, I took yet another expensive plunge and downloaded what appears to be BeerSmith’s biggest competitor, iBrewmaster 2. My hope was that, despite the tacky background and beer foam at the top, it would be a more elegant app with a more intuitive design. Literally within 15 seconds I wanted to delete it.

I’m seriously considering the brewing app approach altogether and just using Evernote (I love Evernote) to keep track of my recipes, Google Calendar to keep track of my schedule, and one of the several $1 brewing timer apps to keep track of my additions on brew day.

Why can’t these developers get their act together regarding UI? I appreciate that they’re trying to cram in all the features and info an advanced brewer might want in an app, but it feels just like that, crammed, and cluttered, and terrible.

Sorry for ranting, but I just wanted to share my thoughts with the community and see if anybody else has had a similar experience.

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Old 01-08-2014, 04:19 PM   #2
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I figured out you can change the color scheme on iBrewmaster 2. That helps a bit. I'll keep exploring and see if my hate subsides

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Old 01-08-2014, 04:24 PM   #3
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iBrewmaster is the best that I've found, although it does have some really annoying stupid bugs. I've given feedback and emailed them about these things, but they just can't seem to get their act together. When editing a recipe, sometimes it will jump to a different recipe after saving an item. Keep your eyes open for this, because you could end up editing the wrong recipe before you realize it. Also, after you save a mash profile into a recipe, it jumps out of that recipe, to the first recipe in your list. Neither of these have been bad enough to cause me to look elsewhere, as their calculations seem to be more accurate than most, and it's really easy to use.

I emailed them after the last update to tell them how horrible the colors were, and they responded by saying they've gotten more positive feedback than negative, which I highly doubt. In the very next sentence, they said they were going to add the ability to customize the colors, which tells me they've received plenty of negative feedback.

It's sad, because the original iBrewmaster worked flawlessly, but didn't have as many options as the second edition, but now, with more options, there are a lot more bugs.

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Old 01-08-2014, 04:31 PM   #4
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If you haven't found the color options yet, they're under Setup > Custom Colors. I changed mine to the iOS7 option and it got rid of the horrible beer foam at the top of the screen and applied a general greyscale color theme. Supposedly you can choose custom colors, but...surprise! That feature doesn't seem to be working as intended.

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Old 01-08-2014, 04:41 PM   #5
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Have you guys tried Brewer's friend? I rather like their iOS app.

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Old 01-08-2014, 05:31 PM   #6
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Psycotte, I'll check out the free version. Thanks!

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Old 01-08-2014, 05:54 PM   #7
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After playing around with iBrewmaster 2 for an hour or so, I'm totally shocked that they're selling this thing for the amount they are. IF it worked like it's supposed to, and IF it wasn't a steaming pile of design vomit, it might be worth it, but it's one of the buggiest and ugliest apps I've ever tried to use. Basic things like searching are completely broken.

On the other hand, I really like the UI of Brewer's Friend, but it doesn't currently have an option of exporting your data. You also need a premium membership

The biggest issue I'm having with these apps is that they're trying to be everything for everybody, but providing way to much information for someone like me who's just starting out. I don't even know what half of the acronyms are on some of the screens, so it's just visual clutter that I'd love the option to hide.

I think for now I'm going to write things out like an old school recipe and use a calendar to keep track of my schedule, and an app (or maybe just my iPhone's stopwatch) to keep track of timing on brew day. We shall see. I'll keep exploring.

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Old 01-12-2014, 02:43 AM   #8
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I've tried them all. Trust me on this one, BeerAlchemy is the creme de la creme when it comes to iOS brewing applications. The UI is friendly and logical in it's design. Very Mac like if you will. The only short coming to the app is no integrated brewing timers.

Beersmith and IB2 on iOS are awful in my opinion. The UI is fragmented and just overly hard to use and implement.

Jim

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Old 01-12-2014, 11:36 AM   #9
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Thanks Jim. I'll check it out once I'm willing to drop another $20

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Old 01-13-2014, 01:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragtop232 View Post
I've tried them all. Trust me on this one, BeerAlchemy is the creme de la creme when it comes to iOS brewing applications. The UI is friendly and logical in it's design. Very Mac like if you will. The only short coming to the app is no integrated brewing timers.

Beersmith and IB2 on iOS are awful in my opinion. The UI is fragmented and just overly hard to use and implement.

Jim
Wow, I wasn't aware of this app. I'm definitely buying it. Funny thing is, I'm using an iTunes gift card I got from iBrewmaster. After the release of iBM2, I found that deleting an entry for a certain field (can't remember which one) caused the entire program to crash continually. They had to do a complete database repair. Just because I left an entry field blank!!!
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