1. cjvitek's Avatar
    iVice Cigar, by iVice Mobile Apps, Inc.
    $4.99, ***1/2


    • Good cigar reference guide
    • Makes recommendations and suggestions

    • Inventory system needs to be revised a little
    • Ratings and reviews could be designed better

    Okay, I admit it, I am an occasional cigar smoker. I have a couple of humidors, and enjoy smoking cigars once or twice a week. But with my cigar collection, my slight obsessive nature comes in, and I want a good way to track the cigars I smoke, as well as my collection of cigars. Enter iVice Cigar.

    iVice Cigar is a cigar inventory/rating/suggestion program. If also contains a number of handy reference guides for cigar smokers, as well as a rather extensive database of cigars. The database can be searched or browsed alphabetically by brand name, and once you find the cigar you are looking for, you can get a number of details – including size, leaf origin, market cost and opinions (although those are blank for a lot of cigars). There is also a “personal taste matrix” which I will talk about later. When looking at a cigar, you have the option of adding it to your wish list, a favorites list, or adding it to your “humidor”. These lists can be used to track cigars that you liked, want to buy, or already own.

    When you check those lists from the homes screen (“collections”) you are limited to only adding the brand and style of cigar – you can’t add specific shapes or sizes. This is a problem, because you may have multiple kinds of La Gloria Cubana cigars, for example, some of which you like more than others, but the “humidor” simply groups them all together. In addition, if you own them, you can’t add any personal information about where you got them, how much they cost, or how old they are.

    This problem of specificity about the cigars (size, shape, etc) can be entered when reviewing cigars. Every time you save a review, you can modify the details based on what you just smoked. You can have an overall rating from 0 to 5 stars (in one tenth intervals, which seems a little odd), as well as adding comments about the light, the burn, the draw, the flavor profile, and other aspects of smoking the cigar. Unfortunately you can’t add anything from pre-selected selected lists, which would have been easier. It would also be nice to be able to rate the individual components and use that to come up with a composite score.

    You can also enter personal preferences – flavors, cigar size, shapes, prices, and the app will identify cigars that will match your preferred flavor profile. It would be nice if the app could also incorporate your reviews, and maybe find “similar” cigars to the ones you rate very highly, but this feature is not available. There are many other reference features – cigar ring size, color guides, shape guides. The app also boasts a price monitoring, but most of the brands I saw did not have any price data. The brands also have information listed such as flavor profile, “words used to describe”, “average ratings” – but I don’t know where that data is coming from.

    All in all, iVice Cigar is a decent database for cigars, but it is a little lacking in the inventory and review side. The personalized recommendations are nice, but they are only based on preferences you enter – not on actual cigars you have smoked. The app looks promising in that there are a number of features that if can potentially deliver, but it looks to be not quite ready for prime time – there still should be some improvements made. At $4.99, it seems a little pricey given the areas it still needs to improve. Three and a half out of five star (but this could improve if they release an update version!)

    Rating scale:

    * = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
    ** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
    *** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
    **** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
    ***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.

    Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating. Please comment on these reviews. If you own the app, tell me what your opinion is. If the review prompted you to buy (or not buy) the app, let me know why. If you want more information about the app, go ahead and ask.
    01-06-2012 04:41 PM