I take your point. But I’ve stopped bothering with both the app and the timer.
Think about what the app actually does. It allows me to set the temperature and timer from my phone.
Now think again. Why on earth would I actually want to do that? I’ve just spent time preparing the food, bagging it, and setting up the Anova to preheat the water to whatever temperature I want. In other words, I’m standing right in front of the thing because I’m preparing a meal for it. Why would I pull out the phone to start it or set the temp? I’ve set the temp already without having to pull anything out of my pocket, by using the scroll wheel and hitting the start button. And I don’t need a bluetooth connection or a working wifi network to do any of these things.
Setting a timer with the clock app on my phone takes next to no time at all, whereas all the fiddling with the Anova app or the stupidly botched controls on the Anova itself takes much longer. And, when it’s time to take the food out, with a phone alarm, I’ll know without getting assaulted by a never-ending series of loud beeps. My phone works even if I’ve moved out of bluetooth range because I’m in the bathroom or downstairs or some such.
If I’m late to react to the alarm, nothing is lost. Because when the timer on the Anova goes off, it doesn’t do anything other than beep forever. It does not turn off the heater. (Whether that is right or wrong is a separate discussion. Personally, I believe that it is reasonable. Ideally, I would like to be able to choose.)
So, whether I use an alarm on the phone or on the Anova makes no difference. Except that I won’t get an earful from other people in the house about the bloody incessant noise (which is really quite loud), and how glad they are that I’m finally back to make it stop because they didn’t want to mess with my meal preparation by just pulling the plug out of the wall socket.
The app gives me access to recipes, yes. But, so what? I have a browser on my phone that provides instant access to hundreds of thousands of recipes, and not just the ones on the Anova site. Just type “sous vide whatever” into Google. You’ll get a ton of hits, including the Anova recipes.
Let’s face it, most people cook the same few recipes over and over. They often have them in their email folder, in a list of favourite links in their browser, in their paper recipe folder, know them by heart anyway, etc. So they don’t even need to google for the recipe.
So, what’s the point of the app? Especially when I know the recipe anyway, or an ordinary browser gives me access to richer information more effectively than the app, in less time, and without all the connectivity problems?
The things the app does most often are:
- fail to reliably connect (or reconnect) to the device
I’m really, really tired of the endless parade of non-working updates to the app. Without any explanation whatsoever what it was that Anova actually did to this particular version and why I should upgrade. Why would I upgrade when I have no idea what the upgrade will do for me? Why would I continue to upgrade when, after the previous ten upgrades, each time I ended up with an app that still had problems?
Whoever does the software for the Anova is utterly and completely incompetent. (I know what I speak of. I write high-performance C++ code every working day of my life, and I have a reputation internationally as an expert on distributed computing and networking.)
So, instead of persisting with the broken app and the appalling manual timer setting, I’m using the device in a way that actually works: I stick it into the water, select the temperature, and turn it on. Takes less than five seconds. Water gets up to temperature while I prepare the food. When the food is ready to go, I drop it into the water and start the timer on my phone. Done.
Simple, easy, reliable, more ergonomic, and stress free. And nothing to upgrade or crash—ever.
The timer and the alarm on the Anova, as well as the app, are solutions in search of a problem. They poorly solve a problem that does not exist.
What an immersion circulator really needs is:
- A scroll wheel or similar to select the temperature.
- A start/stop button
- A way to reliably set the temperature unit. Literally everyone sets the unit exactly once, and never again.
The Anova got the first two right. They are essential. It got the third one right, too. Press and hold for three seconds, and the temperature unit changes. And you won’t ever have to do it again. From there on, use the scroll wheel for the temp, the start/stop button, and your phone alarm.
Literally everything else on the Anova—setting the timer manually, the incessant beeps, the low-water alarm that keeps going even after I have topped up the water to above the low-water mark—and everything on the app are either useless, do not add value, or are broken.
Don’t use the extra bits, and you will have a happy and productive relationship with your Anova. Blissful and stress-free sous vide experience forever after.
And no need for support from this forum. Because when something just works, you don’t need any support. And you can spend your time doing more productive things than hanging around here…