Frigo Magic: the App a Cook & Developer Made

Sebastien Burel
  

Sebastien Burel

June 22, 2015

Frigo Magic is a smartphone application developed to help young French people cook recipes based on the ingredients they already have at home.

The current version is free and accessible worldwide in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
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Making our app with Kinoma software

The application prototypes and first version (App Store only) were done with Apache Cordova, a platform for building native mobile applications using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. The server part was also built using Apache Cordova. The result was great on my iPhone 6, but terrible on older phones. That was mainly due to rendering in HTML. I used a lot of CSS transition between screens, and that required a good OpenGL implementation.

During the same time, I built a simple project with Kinoma Create by using a barometer sensor and pushing the result to connected server. I’m a former Kinoma engineer and a big fan of Kinoma Create.

When Kinoma open sourced the full KinomaJS tree in March, I conducted tests on iOS and Android. I got some very good results in terms of development speed and performance.

KinomaJS-logo-final

I tried to code (only JavaScript) the same transition that wasn’t working well with an older device. The result was much better than Cordova. I got about the same transition on an old iPhone 4 as on the latest iPhone 6 (certainly with a slower frame rate, but it was working great).

I tried the Android version (with no code change, just the build) and got the same good result.

By the beginning of April, I decided to move Frigo Magic from Apache Cordova to KinomaJS. It took me less than three weeks, in part because the UI development was really easy. I wrote my own plugin to implement access to some internal data (iOS/Android version, UUID, Token…) and to implement a SQLiteDatabase (I was using WebSQL with Cordova).

The experience was great. The second version of Frigo Magic (1.1), was published in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store at the beginning of May.

Though the KinomaJS documentation is sparse in places, it is easy to figure how to code stuff, especially searching through Kinoma Create samples. The only problems I encountered were due to the use of Ant and CMake which are somewhat difficult to understand and to follow.

Version 1.3, and what’s next

Version 1.3 of Frigo Magic is now in the app stores, and it implements Facebook login (using KinomaJS webview) and Google Analytics API.

One of my next goals is to run webkool inside a KinomaJS app, but we are currently focused on developing the Frigo Magic business.

Recognition for Frigo Magic

It’s been going well! We were honored to participate in TEDxRennes, presenting our work on Frigo Magic.

Frigo Magic at TEDx

We’ve received great media coverage, including articles in Goûts d’Ouest and 20 Minutes.

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And we’re gaining followers on Facebook.

Frigo Magic banner

The app is localized only in French at this time because recipes and ingredients are cultural. We would need to partner with others who know cooking in other cultures in order to build recipes for countries beyond France.

Small & mighty team

One last thing: we are only two people running Frigo Magic. Christophe is the cook, and I am the developer.

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Christophe Boisselier is a wine consultant to businesses and individuals, provides instruction at Faculty of trades Ker Lann for those entering the sommelier profession, provides introduction to wine tasting at the Atelier des Chefs in Rennes, and advises Wine Fair Centre Leclerc. He has worked as sommelier for multiple Michelin starred restaurant, was the main sommelier of Alain Passard (L’Arpège), was named Best Sommelier of Britain 1987, and Sommelier of 1990.  

Sébastien Burel has 20 years experience in the Internet sector, with a focus on API-centric web app technology, and developing apps for connected devices. He’s versed in HTML, CSS, Javascript, C, and SQL. Sébastien also identifies as a Server Architech and Database Designer. Before co-founding Frigo Magic with Christophe, Sébastien founded haruni.net, co-founded CornerNews Corp, and more.