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Home / Mac / Large grocery update adds recipe and meal planning support along with other enhancements – MacStories

Large grocery update adds recipe and meal planning support along with other enhancements – MacStories

I have used groceries on and off for a long time, but what finally did it in a way that it never did in the app's early days was the addition of a HomePod in my living room / kitchen area. The app is built on top of Apple Reminders, which means that even from the early days of HomePod, adding items to our family grocery list using Siri was reliable. Matvarens Siri support was available before HomePod, but the ability to add stuff to the list while saving or smoking through the refrigerator remodeled groceries to an app I spend all week.

With version 2.0, groceries have added a new level of power to the app by creating a flexible system that lets you do everything from storing a grocery store list that you can reuse over and over for recipe management and meal scheduling. The new features add some complexity to the grocery store, but if you invest some time in understanding how the app works and taking advantage of shortcut integration, the update opens interesting uses far beyond what was possible before.

As we have covered in AppStories, third-party developers can build apps that rely on Apple's reminders to maintain lists, whether in GoodTask or a list of things to buy in the grocery store.

One of the keys to groceries is that there are several ways to add items to your list. I often add items with Siri on HomePod and can use Apple's voice assistant from an iOS device or my Watch when I'm out of earshot of HomePod. The main app also includes a & # 39; Add item & # 39; button and a quick add-on to pick from a list of the most commonly purchased past.

The grocery store will offer to add text that it finds on the clipboard as items, creating a new item for text that is separated by line breaks. Although grocery stores cannot distinguish between groceries and random text on the clipboard, I have found the feature incredibly convenient. When someone in my family writes me with things they want me to buy, I just copy and paste the items into the grocery store and let the app handle to separate them.

Grocery store lets you organize lists in the stores as well. The name of the store you are shopping on is listed just below the name of the list in the app's main view. Tap it to switch to another store you have set up or edited the list of stores and grocery lists associated with them. Each store can be paired with another reminder list or use the same. You can also give each store a notice when you arrive, which you can tap to open the app on your iOS device or Apple Watch.

The app may learn the order in which you check out goods. That way, it can automatically sort your list the next time you shop and reflect the path you take through the store. If you are consistent in checking items that you drag, this SmartSort feature saves time by eliminating the need to jump around the list while shopping. New items that the grocery store does not recognize can be listed in a separate unsorted part at the bottom of the list view. The app does an excellent job of clearing lists so you can select settings to handle title and note capitalization and enable rules for extracting notes from item titles and splitting multiple items. Of course, you can also re-order items manually.

Food also includes an Apple Watch app that can be much easier to use than the iPhone app when you tap a cart and grab items from shelves. I always feel like I'm on the verge of dropping my iPhone in the store, so it's nice to be able to hold it in my pocket and still check out my wrists and know that it is quickly synced back to my phone. 19659009] The many ways to get items into grocery store and automatic sorting and rules for clearing lists is precisely why I use the app. With minimal effort, I can put together a quick list and shop to know that it will be set up and formatted in a way that matches the way I shop.

Not everyone is approaching the grocery store that way though. The app was less effective for people who shop for a recipe or a weekly schedule. To address that type of shopper, groceries have added a whole new section in the app called Recipes.


The recipe function has its own view available from the button in the upper left corner of the main menu screen. Recipes can include text notes, headlines, steps, elements, hashtags, timers, and images. At the bottom of the list of recipes are opportunities to search for recipes and add a new one. When you add a new recipe, add items such as notes and items one at a time, and select the type you add from the options menu at the bottom of the screen. Recipes can be stored locally or in iCloud Drive, in which case they will also be available on other iOS devices.

Notes can be used in recipes for descriptions and can optionally include hashtags, which can be drained from the recipe list view to show only recipes with that hashtag. However, the recipe list view contains only the first note of a recipe. As a result, only hashtags in the first note can be dropped to filter the results based on the hashtag, although notes anywhere in a recipe will be included in the results. Hashtags are highlighted through a recipe when opened, and hitting them provides haptic feedback on supported iPhones, but that's all they do, which is a bit strange. I expected to hit a hashtag would start a search, but it only works in the list view. Recipes can also include headlines, which are larger, bold that can be used to visually distinguish parts of the recipe.

The steps are checklists you can use when going through a recipe and completing a task. When a step is drained, a check mark appears next to it and it is grayed out. Ingredients work in the same way as steps, but are visually different from a brighter background. If you are copying multiple lines from another app, you can paste them into a recipe as a group of items or steps using the "More" button at the bottom of the recipe editing view.

If you jump back and forth between a recipe for a site and groceries that add steps, ingredients, notes, and other items, it may be a bit boring, but the grocery store has made a shortcut that makes it easier. The shortcut is launched using the Safari part sheet and goes through the steps of copying the title, description, ingredients, and directions of a recipe using local alerts. After copying each part, return to shortcuts to proceed to the next step. It is not as seamless as a built-in web page parser can be, but it goes a long way, eliminating several steps from the process.

Grocery store makes time references to timers, so a step that says something like "Cook pasta for 8 minutes would create an 8-minute hour called" 8 minutes. & # 39; Any recipe with an hour will Include a timer icon in the top toolbar By tapping the icon, a list of all timers in the recipe is displayed, from which you can start a few hours by pressing the play button next to the timer, which becomes a three-point icon that you can press again to display the options for pausing, completing, resetting and renaming a timer Timers can also be drained from the body of a recipe, which adds options to display and start the timer.

When a recipe is opened, each item takes off a separate row, which can be swiped to the right to edit the content, but the three-point button at the top right has an editing option, but it is limited to rearranging each element of the recipe by dragging and dropping. the point button contains options to share the recipe via the sub-archive, see the recipe timers, add the recipe to the meal plan, which I explain below, just look at the recipe ingredients and delete the recipe.

Sharing is worth a special mention. Recipes are common text files that use a subset of Markdown to define each item. For example, a note uses block attribute tax, and an ingredient is a bulleted list item that uses piping around any portion of the text that is intended to be the secondary description associated with an ingredient. The grocery store's use of plain text means that you can send a recipe to a text editor and edit it there, which is convenient. Email sharing, iMessage or similar methods will attach the attachment to the message as a .recipe file that the recipient can open in a text editor, even if they do not use grocery. Also on the menu button at the top of the recipe list view you can import recipes from regular text files stored in App files.

Recipes behave in the same way as list templates that can be used to add items to your grocery list on a couple in different ways. First, from the inside of a recipe, you can press the three-point button at the top right to display the ingredients. From here you can choose which items you want to add to your grocery list.

Secondly, you can add a recipe for your meal plan by swiping it straight from the recipe list and pressing the "Add Meals" button or using the menu button from inside a single recipe view. When you add a recipe for your meal plan, groceries open a list of the ingredients with all selected ones. Deselect any items you don't need, then tap "Add to List and Target Plan" to add them to your shopping list and move the recipe to the top of the list of recipes in a special "Target Plan" section of the view.

When it's time to prepare the recipe, open it, check the steps as you go, and use any timers you've incorporated. When done, there is a menu option called "Finish Cooking" that resets timers and returns the recipe to the master list where it can be reused at a later time, adding the ingredients to the shopping list as needed. [19659022] Even if you do not store recipes in groceries, you can store lists of items that can be added as groups in your shopping list. For example, if there are 10 things you buy each week in the grocery store, you can add them as a recipe and add all 10 items at once to your shopping list, saving you a lot of pressing around in the app.

In beta testing, this latter use of recipes I found myself the most. Being able to add a list of staples we buy each week with a single tap is even faster than the app's Quick Add feature.

I had reservations about the grocery store's new recipe function when I first tried it. The feature adds complexity to what is otherwise a simple app, and that is the simplest thing that is one of the app's greatest strengths. But I also understand why it was added. Recipes open a grocery store to a new group of users: people who shop with a recipe and who want a way to draw shopping lists from there. It's not how I act, but I understand its usefulness.

Fortunately for someone like me, the new features do not detract from the existing simplicity of groceries because recipes are completely separate from the main shopping list. And, as I have mentioned above, I've used recipes to create template lists of items we buy every week from the supermarket, which has been a useful addition to the app.

For anyone who has plans starting with recipes and meal planning, it is worth taking the time to understand the various components of the grocery store. With favorite recipes stored in the app, there is a breeze to add items to your shopping list, and you have the advantage of running multiple overlapping timers and checking out the steps as you go anytime you create it. Recipes add complexity to the grocery store, but it's complexity that pays off to those who want these features, closely integrating with the existing functionality of the app without competing with it. As a result, it manages to strike the right balance between existing fans of the app and people who want more of it.

Grocery store is available as a free download on the App Store with a $ 7.99 per year subscription to unlock alternative icons, multiple themes, and the ability to remove ads.

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