By America's Test Kitchen LP
The re-designed app was a disaster when it first rolled out, but after several updates it’s in really good shape now. I left a few 1-2 star reviews previously, but pretty much all of what I found frustrating has been fixed. Very happy with it now!
App is pretty well done. Current biggest issue is that you cannot at to a “Collection” from the app, you can only add to “Favorites”.
The short version: the app offers no meaningful advantage over just going to the website. In fact, in some ways, like printing, it’s worse. The app has come a long way, but that’s over the course of over a decade. It is now useable, but still inferior to the website for general use. At least the search and scrolling functions now seem to fully work, so it’s useable. However, it’s still much easier to access articles on the website. Also, they’ve changed the printing format so that recipes print out on super-tiny font that I can’t read easily. I print from the website, and not only can I actually read it, but I can choose not to print pictures and the blurb to save ink. This is a big drawback for the app.
The app is great when it works. America’s Test Kitchen is the gold standard for any cook who wants to improve on their cooking and also for the best recipes. Unfortunately, the app doesn’t seem to properly link my email address to my payment. The first time this happened I just brushed it off, but to happen again seems unacceptable. Hopefully this problem will be resolved by the end of the week - but I’m still waiting. For $50 a year I expect to have access to the app when I want to look up a recipe.
The description of the app says it can be used without having an All Digital Access account. However, when I tried to log into the app using my credentials from my Cook’s Illustrated print subscription I got a notice that said I needed All Digital Access to use the app. Frustrating! I mainly wanted the app so I can watch missed TV episodes and get recipes from the Cook’s Country and America’s Test Kitchen TV shows. Are those features (or ANY features) available in the app without an All Digital Access account?
Favoriting comments—fixed Writing comments is glitchy on my iPad. Often the keyboard slides up over where you are typing so you can’t see your errors. In trying to move the screen into view, you can hit the wrong link and post unfinished comments—recently I made a real mess. It would be nice if you could edit or remove your own comment for a limited time. Until then, I’ll type them in a word processor and paste them in.
Since subscribing to the service so I could watch all the shows on demand I get incessant spam emails marketing all the other ways to give ATK money, sometimes multiple emails in one day, an abuse of good will. I have clicked the unsubscribe all emails option in my account multiple times to no avail. I’ve written to ATK support and if they get it fixed, I’ll update this review but at this point, I can’t recommend anyone signing up. EDIT: Not sure what’s worse about the form letter response to this review: admitting the unsubscribe doesn’t, or that customer service doesn’t? Still getting the daily emails. It appears ATK considers paying customers as sheep to be shorn for all they’re worth
I love ATK, and I guess I’m happy to be supporting them with my subscription $$ while they work on developing the app, but right now, I think they need to put a lot of money into actively user-testing this app. Like, get a usability researcher to gather up some live, unfamiliar respondents, and do some old fashioned task scenarios, to see where people are struggling / stumbling. The app is just not quick/easy to understand and move through. I couldn’t figure out what lists even WERE or how to add a recipe there, til I’d had the app for a month (hint, you don’t add recipes there, you add ingredients from recipes.) I’m hopeful it will continue to improve.
Open the ATK app, choose an episode, and It plays. Try to pause? No dice (and no pause). Try to go back and choose another episode? Ha! You can’t. Hold the back button to quit? Nope. The only way out is to force quit the app. How did this app ever get released? Apple TV 4K, current tvOS as of 1.24.2023
Mobile app does not work. Click on a recipe to see details and get a “whoops our bad” message. Tried deleting app and reinstalling. Didn’t work. Cancelling subscription? I can’t use a mobile app on a mobile device.. . .