Interview with the developer and publisher of .B-APPs
You are mostly known as a photographer of the internationally successful Culinaria book series, and of course you’re a gourmet photographer. Why have you moved on from the photography of food to the production of iPhone Apps?
Günter: That’s not what I’m doing at all. I’m still a photographer. It’s just that I now also publish my work in Apps as well as books and magazines. They’re simply a wonderful evolution of the traditional cookbook.
Could you describe that a bit further?
Günter: For me, the value of my pictures has always been at the forefront. Of course, a food photo should look good and inspire the appetite. But what good is it if I can’t actually cook the dish? When I see how it’s prepared, things become more interesting. So, a picture really can tell a thousand words. For this purpose, the iPhone Apps are just the right thing. In addition, it offers mobile usability: I have everything I need, always there in the supermarket, in the restaurant or on vacation. Then there’s the full flow: planning a dinner, choosing, deciding, buying, storing, preparing, cooking and serving. The whole sequence is at hand, so I never forget anything, which is great. No ordinary cookbook can do that.
Now there are already 100,000 apps in the iTunes Store. Do you think yours will still be needed?
Günter: When I look for “recipes” in the German App Store, I get almost 30 answers. These are partly gimmicks that you only look at once and then delete, or they’re puzzled-together recipe collections from the Internet with varied quality, being presented as cookbooks. There seems to be a contest of who can offer more recipes: four thousand, ten thousand, and so on. Who needs that? I don’t want to have every recipe with me. I only want the very best ones--the ones I love the most and know will be the most delicious. Given all that, the iPhoneApps, in my opinion, need to meet high editorial standards that are at least equal to the standards of good books. That applies to the selection of recipes as well as the preparation and media-specific presentation. Luckily, I already work with the best authors, as I do in the area of books and magazines.
Most apps are available for 79 cents per download. How can that be economically possible?
Günter: It doesn’t work. This price is only possible by offering recipes of lower quality. Consequently, that is what their apps will look like. Instead, my .B-Apps only offer the highest quality. They are originally developed for the iPhone and other touch-screen devices that use the capabilities of mobility, audio visual functions and communication and even customization features. They last, and they convey a completely new user experience. Due to their usability, they can compete with the best books out there. And compared to books, they’re extremely cost-effective.
Which apps can we expect in the near future from you?
Günter: After "Italian Cuisine" comes "Yoga2go." After all, cooking is certainly not the only interesting thing in life.
Frankfurt Book Fair 2009