Basil 3 is a Lovely Recipe Manager for iOS
Basil 3 by Kyle Baxter is a fantastic recipe manager for iOS. It is lightweight and looks elegant for the most part while working great across iPhone and iPad.
Basil has everything I’ve come to expect from a modern recipe manager, like support for saving a recipe from popular websites to grocery lists. Basil also does a few things that set it apart from the crowd. When recipes are added from websites, Basil identifies the strings for time in the recipe directions and converts them into clickable timers. The ingredients list is also a check list, so you can tap any ingredient to check it off. If you need to go shopping, the calendar glyph on top lets you create a grocery list with the ingredients for a recipe. I love how Basil has a nice small basil leaf near an ingredient if there is a healthier substitute available for it. A recipe that needed all purpose flour had a note to try out wheat flour instead in the grocery list. Subtle things like this make me realize why people swear by Basil on iOS for their recipe needs. Basil uses iCloud to sync and it worked well for me during my testing.
There are a few ways to add recipes to Basil, ranging from an in app browser that auto launches with links and a universal search into popular cooking websites to a Safari extension. The Safari extension lets you add categories to recipes as well and saves an image for thumbnail use. The app auto creates tags for key ingredients within a recipe. There’s support for iOS 9’s Split View and Slide Over on supported iPads, along with Spotlight search for recipes. While I love the iPad interface of the app, the slide over interface is pretty barebones and looks like a larger iPhone interface. I’m not really a fan of the iPhone UI of Basil and hope future updates will give it a better and more custom look.
Out of all the cooking apps available on iOS, Basil gets mentioned very often. I only recently got to finally use it and realized exactly why. It may not be as functional as Paprika, but it has a more pleasing interface and does the job well. Everyone knows what a big fan of Avenir I am, so seeing it heavily used throughout Basil earned the app bonus points in my book. If you enjoy collecting recipes and cooking, you definitely need to try Basil out.
Basil 3 is available on the App Store for just $4.99.