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KnitMinder and Knit Buddy
As I recently posted in my blog, David Ross has released Knit Buddy, a knitting project management application for organizing, tracking, and planning knitting projects. While I'm a little bummed that he got his app finished and into the App Store first, overall I'm really happy that knitters will have a choice of apps and that there is some competition to keep me pushing features into KnitMinder. I thought I'd open up a discussion here about the differences between the two apps so you can tell me what you like and dislike about either KnitMinder or Knit Buddy. I've used Knit Buddy a little over the past couple of days, and here are some of the similarities and differences that I noticed:
Both programs are laid out in a very similar fashion, with a tab bar at the bottom of the screen where you can jump between the different sections of the application. Both have sections for Projects, Needles and Hooks (combined in KnitMinder, separate in Knit Buddy), and Yarns. Knit Buddy has a tab for preferences in the program; with KnitMinder, you need to use the Settings application outside of the app to set your preferences. KnitMinder has section for tracking Patterns which isn't supported in Knit Buddy, and also includes a Help tab.
Touching the Yarns tab in both programs shows a list of yarns that have been entered along with a photo and some additional information about the yarn. Knit Buddy shows the yarn name and number of skeins and allows you to sort by weight or name. KnitMinder shows the brand, name, weight and ply, and fiber, and allows you to sort by weight or color. Entering a yarn is easy in both programs. In general, hitting the plus button to enter a yarn, needle, or project in Knit Buddy brings you to a screen where you are prompted for one or two important pieces of information, while in KnitMinder, you are always shown all of the entry fields in one place. For example, in the Yarns section in Knit Buddy, you are prompted for the name and brand first, then taken to a screen where you enter weight, fiber content, color, dye lot, and so on. You also need to press a Save button each time to store your data. KnitMinder shows you all of the yarn information at once and automatically saves changes when you leave the screen. For gauge estimates, Knit Buddy has a neat feature where you can add one or more "swatches" to a yarn. Each swatch consists of a simple pattern (seed, rib, cable, moss), the needles used, and measurements of stitches per inch and rows per inch.
The Needles tab in both programs are essentially the same. C'mon, how much do you really need to know about needles aside from the type (straight, DP, circular), size, length, and material? The only difference is that you enter the length of the needles in KnitMinder but select from a list of lengths in Knit Buddy. As I mentioned above, hooks are combined with needles in KnitMinder.
The Projects tab is where it all happens in both programs, and this is where the two apps differ in approach. Both applications display a list of projects when you first touch the Projects tab. In Knit Buddy, each project in the list contains a photo, the project name, and the notes that have been entered for that project. Touching a project displays a summary of the project at the top of the screen, a list of counters, and a place for entering notes. Projects in Knit Buddy are mainly focused on the counters -- you can just open up the project and see where you left off.
In KnitMinder, the Project list shows a photo, the project name, and the time and date of the last logbook entry. The photo shown in this list isn't specifically taken for the project; it is the last logbook picture. When you touch a project in KnitMinder, you see some general info at the top, buttons for accessing the logbook and counters, a list of yarns, and a list of needles. This is where Knit Buddy and KnitMinder differ the most: KnitMinder is all about keeping a diary of the project's creation. The logbook is displayed as a list of entries sorted by date, and you can keep photos and notes in each entry. The counters in KnitMinder look and work the same as the counters in StitchMinder, so love 'em or hate 'em, they're back.
Let me add a few other quick notes:
- Both apps are priced at $4.99. KnitMinder provides a free, "lite" version so you can try it out before buying.
- Both are polished applications, not something that a consulting company threw together overnight. It's clear that lots of thought went into the designs.
- The developers of both apps get involved with their users by answering email and participating in Ravelry forums.
- Knit Buddy is available now; KnitMinder has been submitted for approval and will be available soon.
I'm really interested in hearing what you all think of KnitMinder and Knit Buddy!