Once I find an App that I like it usually takes a lot to get me to look at and move to a different App. Very few Apps are perfect and there is always room for improvement or a feature here and there. If I find an App that I really like then chances are even if there is a similar App out there, I'd be giving up a feature to move to the other App to gain a different feature. I say this because, many of you know that my favorite Grocery List App has been Grocery iQ for quite some time. Grocery iQ has worked very well for me and I really didn't have any major complaints with it. However, there was one problem in using it and it was something I never considered until I saw Grocery Gadget. Once I saw this feature in Grocery Gadget it became painfully obvious that this was the one feature that would solve my problem and make me switch.
Let's get the basics out of the way first. Grocery Gadget lets you add items to a list (or multiple lists) either manually or by scanning the product's barcode (a must have for me). You can enter additional details about the item such as the price and what category/aisle it's in. You can even enter your own custom comments about the item. If you do take the time to enter the item's price then Grocery Gadget will total up everything on your list so that you know approximately how much your grocery bill is going to be before you even leave the house. Although I'm not big on coupons it has a coupon feature too.
The big thing for me in any of these Apps is that they have to allow for cloud based syncing. The beauty with cloud based syncing is that your significant other can add things to your list over the air at any time. Whenever you happen to go shopping you just pull out your iPhone/iPod touch and your list is ready to go. So far I haven't mentioned a single thing that the App I was already using didn't do. However, Grocery Gadget adds one thing that made my shopping experience so much faster…
A picture is worth a thousand words
While it's great that my wife can add something to my list over the air, the problem arrises when I don't know what that item looks like. I remember standing there staring at 15 different kinds of Oatmeal reading each one to try to find the one that was on my list. Had I had a picture of what the box looked like I would have been able to find it in 2 seconds. Grocery Gadget allows you to have a picture of the item you're adding to the list. As a matter of fact if the picture is already in the database it will be added the minute you scan the barcode. If it's not in the database you can take your own picture when you're adding the item using the camera on your iOS device. This is the one feature that got me to switch over to Grocery Gadget immediately. I also like the fact that with Grocery Gadget you can manage your list via their website too.
The Bottom Line
Grocery Gadget is a great grocery list App and having the ability to add pictures to the items makes it the "BEST" App that I've seen to date. While I do really like it, there are a couple of things I'd like to see streamlined and added. First of all there is no native iPad version. I don't really care since I'm not going to take my iPad to the store. However, the iPad would be great to use at home to manage the list. Also if iPad 2 has a camera like the rumors are saying then I'll want an iPad version even more! Next, I would like to see a more clear distinction between Lists and Stores. Clearly you could have an item that is available at more than one store and while Grocery Gadget does allow for this, it doesn't make it obvious on how to assign a list to a specific store. I figured it out along with how to add stores, but it was in an obscure place. It's not the end of the world, but Grocery iQ does this better.
With a few minor interface tweaks, I'd gladly give this app a 5th star. If you're looking for the BEST Grocery List App for iOS (and Android), this is probably it!