We first wrote about the nutrition web site Foodzy last May. Foodzy is a web app that helps people track what food they eat. It attempts to make the process of tracking food fun by awarding badges for good eating habits. Foodzy has now launched their free iOS and Android apps, although while the apps are free you need to sign up for a $15 per year Foodzy Pro account in order to use them.
Given that most of us eat at least one meal a day away from home, smartphone apps are pretty much a must for tracking the food one eats. The idea behind the Foodzy smartphone apps is pretty straight forward, you enter the food products that you eat during the day. Unfortunately, in my experience using the Android app, I found it difficult to enter food products.
The problem lies with Foodzy’s attempt at speeding up data entry. As you type letters into the Search Products field the app begins searching in anticipation of what you are entering. I find that the search happens too quickly with the screen refreshing and the onscreen keyboard closing automatically to display the search results before I complete entering the product name. Worse, I have several instances where tapping the Search Products field does not open the keyboard and all I could do is tap Cancel and start over.
Another problem is with the food database. The database is the most critical component of an app like this because when you are out at a restaurant you aren’t going to have time nor the information to add a new product. Apparently Foodzy doesn’t even expect users to add products using the mobile app because I cannot find a way to enter new products. If the existing database is not exhaustive, and Foodzy’s isn’t, the end result is that users will stop using the app. I also cannot find a way to remove food products that I selected by mistake in the Android app.
It’s pretty clear in my experience that the first version of the Foodzy smartphone app only provides a small amount of functionality and users are expected mainly to use the full web site. Hopefully Foodzy will update these shortcomings because I think the product entry and missing features make the Android app unusable. If you are considering signing up for a Foodzy Pro account just to use the smartphone apps, I recommend holding off until some of these issues are addressed.