Every few days, we receive an inquiry to our support desk from BigOven for Windows users that asks how to make recipes that are currently in BigOven for Windows recipe software on a user’s desktop or laptop so that they are viewable in the free iPhone, iPad, Android or Windows Phone apps.
The answer is that you need to post them to BigOven.com.
BigOven uses the web to host all recipes – the software does not publish straight to any mobile devices. That is, you don’t connect a cable and “sync” from your PC to your smartphone, you publish them to BigOven.com publicly or privately, and then use your mobile device to access the online recipes.
We made this deliberate design choice for a variety of reasons.
First, people change their devices all the time – moving from iPhone to Android to or Android to Windows Phone, etc. Doing it this way makes migration effortless for you. Second, Apple doesn’t provide a very good sync interface for developers to use to write generic data to their devices. Third, even if we wanted to write device-specific synchronization to currently four different devices (iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone) it would be a huge technical burden keeping up with all the OS changes on each platform related to synchronization, and that would most likely lead to increase costs, end-user pricing and mutual frustration. Finally, and most important, publishing once to the web allows you to also have your recipes on the web if you’d like without any extra work.
BigOven Imports from other Recipe Software
And, because BigOven for Windows imports MasterCook MX2, MXP, MealMaster MMF and one flavor of the Cook’n format (DBF), you can also join the smartphone revolution and “mobilize” your recipes via BigOven for Windows, letting you access your recipes when you’re at the grocery store or farmer’s market. Just import ‘em and post ‘em.
Public or Private Posting
Publishing to the web doesn’t mean that your recipes need to be public.
As a PRO member, you get to choose. You can post recipes from the desktop software publicly or privately.
- Public recipes are viewable by everyone on any BigOven point of service – that is, BigOven.com or the free mobile recipe apps.
- Private recipes can only be viewed by you, and only when you’re logged in.
Pro membership is required to post recipes. As of May 22nd 2011, BigOven for Windows is free, but use of online features (like posting recipes) now requires Pro membership.
We explained our rationale for this important change six months ago, but also realize this may still be news to several of you. If you’ve purchased BigOven for Windows in the past, please read this post from May 2011 that explains this important change.
BigOven for Windows Purchasers: Get a Year of BigOven PRO for free
All BigOven for Windows purchasers are eligible for a free year of BigOven Pro membership – but you need to activate this soon, because this free year offer expires December 30th 2011.
To activate it, be sure you’ve got version 1.9.1 or later – you can download it here. Then, browse to any online recipe. One quick way to do that is to click the “Find” button on the toolbar:
and choose “BigOven.com” as the target for your search, and search for a recipe:
This will bring up a list of recipes in BigOven’s right hand window. Click on one of the recipes. You should get a prompt that you need to be a BigOven Pro member. At the bottom of that login is a link to another page where you can enter your serial number. Your serial number can be found in the Help > About menu option in BigOven for Windows.
How to Post Recipes in BigOven for Windows
First, find the recipe you’d like to post. Click on it. (If the icon already has a globe next to it, it’s already posted.)
Next, choose Post on the toolbar:
You’ll see a dialog that asks you to add 3 tags, categorize it, and star-rate it. You need to do all these things (making each of the three checkmarks light up) in order to see the Ready to Post button light up:
Then, click submit:
You’ll be prompted to categorize it in the archive (so that you and others can find it by browsing through the categories), and also whether you’d like to make the recipe Public or Private.
That’s it! Your recipe is online. Now, you can launch your iPhone, iPad, Android or Windows P
hone app and bring up “Recipes I’ve Posted”.
If you’ve already done so, and don’t see the recipe, you may need to refresh the list, which can be done in the iPhone and iPad by tugging down on the list again. Also, be sure you’re browsing the correct category.
Upload Photos On the Recipe Page or In the App
By design, recipe photos are NOT uploaded as part of the posting process.
The reason? We want consumers to be very careful about the photos uploaded, and we highly, highly encourage you to ensure that photos you submit are original, and not taken from any commercial source. To add a photo to the recipe, simply visit the recipe page on BigOven (or in the mobile apps) and submit a photo.
Bulk Recipe Upload?
While posting each recipe takes only a few seconds, and only needs to be done once, for the time-being at least, you must post recipes one at a time.
We are evaluating how we might support a bulk-upload feature from the desktop software, and would love some input (you can leave comments right here on the blog).
From a technical standpoint, bulk upload is fairly straightforward, although one tricky bit is to ensure that bulk uploads that are interrupted partially through don’t somehow create duplicates if re-tried.
Perhaps our biggest design challenge we have in allowing bulk uploads is the protection of the search experience on BigOven.com for the millions of cooks who have come to use it. That is, we don’t want people’s search for “chocolate chip cookie” on BigOven.com to show, say, 300,000+ answers, many of which are identical. If everyone uploads all their recipes in bulk form, that not only increases the likelihood of duplicates, but it also may create performance burdens on search.
We could certainly make bulk-upload a private-only option, but we also think that those who wish to upload, say, 10,000 recipes and keep them private might need to pay more than just $15.99 per year. We may instead do a limit of 1,000 recipes for bulk uploads, and mandate that they stay private. Quite frankly, we’re still mulling this one through, and welcome your input.
You Can Post Grocery Lists, Too
One last thing I should mention, you can post your grocery lists to BigOven as well. These remain private, visible only to you when you are logged in. To do so, simply choose “Post Grocery List” from the Tools menu: