iPhone App Review: AnyList Grocery List

Category: Productivity
Price: Free
Release Date: Updated September 7, 2012
Version: 1.4
Seller: Purple Cover, Inc.
Rated: 4+
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.2 or later.
Link to app

TiP Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

App Store Description:

AnyList is the best way to create and share grocery shopping lists. Easily share a list with your spouse or roommates. List changes show up instantly on everyone’s iPhone or iPod touch..

Summary:

AnyList enables you to create and share multiple lists that update in real-time across devices. Although it’s not the most feature-packed grocery app out there, I don’t recommend leaving home without it.

Review: 

While there’s no shortage of grocery apps in the App Store, AnyList stands out for one reason: real-time updating.

AnyList enables you to create and share multiple lists, and any updates made to those lists will update in real-time across devices. This makes AnyList a valuable app for roommates, spouses, and families.

Right off the bat you’re asked to create an account. I wish this wasn’t forced, but it’s a one-time deal and simplifies sharing. By default you have one list (titled My Grocery List), but you can easily create additional lists by tapping “Lists” and “Create a new list.”

You can choose from a categorized grocery list, an uncategorized basic list of items, or a custom list with personalized settings — such as category headers, category order, sort order, and so on.

To share a list, tap the “Share” button toward the bottom of the screen. You can enter the name or email of the person you’d like to share with — be sure that they have AnyList installed on their iDevice as well. Shared lists can also be viewed via text message or email. Shared lists can be viewed and updated by multiple people at once.

Adding items to a list is very simple: just tap the plus icon in the top right corner of the screen. You’ll notice that as you begin typing common results begin to appear thanks to autocomplete. This can speed up list creation in some cases. Depending on the type of list you’re using (I used a categorized grocery list for testing), the app will automatically organize your items.

In some cases I had to adjust the category. For example, AnyList placed Rice Krispies under Grains, Pasta & Sides instead of Breakfast & Cereal. You can edit or add more information about the item by tapping the arrow next to it. Also, if this is something you purchase often, you can also add it to your Favorites.

Once you’re in the store and plowing through your list, you can simply tap an item to cross it off. That item will then be crossed off on the lists of everyone you shared it with. For easier sorting, you can switch views from All to Remaining to see what’s left to buy.

Another nifty feature of AnyList is the Recipe section. Recipes are pulled in from popular resources. You can use this section to help you meal plan, figure out what to do with random ingredients, or build a grocery list. Once you’ve opened up a recipe, you can ingredients to your shopping list with just one tap.

Although AppList doesn’t boast barcode scanning, coupon clipping, or a grocery story locator (like Grocery IQ), it’s a much more user-friendly app with a simple and uncluttered interface. And that real-time updating isn’t too shabby either. I don’t recommend going to the grocery store without it.

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  • I am one of the developers of the AnyList app. Thanks for the review!
     
    One clarification: you don’t have to create an account if you just want to try the app. On the account creation screen, there is a button labeled “Skip for now” that will let you bypass creating an account and just try the app. When you go to share a list, you will have to create an account, but you’ll be prompted to do so at that time.
     
    We’re always open to suggestions for improvements to the app, so users should feel free to reach out to us (use the “Send Feedback” link in the app settings).

  • AnyListApp

    @sportinesse Thanks, glad to hear that you like the app! Let us know if you have suggestions.