You all remember Carrot, right? The sadistic, sarcastic artificial intelligence that powers a series of productivity and fitness applications? Well, Carrot’s back with a few new tricks up her sleeve (and possibly some deadly neurotoxin, but who knows?) in a brand new calorie-tracking app called Carrot Hunger.
Carrot Hunger, from developer Brian Mueller, brings the familiar aesthetic and snark from previous applications to a straightforward new concept. To get started, you’ll need to enter some basic details about yourself, such as height and weight. Then all you have to do is scan the barcode on your food before you eat (or search for it in a database) using the Carrot Hunger app.
The software will automatically calculate how many calories are in a given product and add those to your daily total intake. It’ll also tell you how much physical activity you’ll need to do to burn those calories off.
Your caloric intake goal will automatically be determined based on the information you provided earlier, as well as a user-selectable goal of either gaining or losing 1-2 pounds per week (or just maintaining your current weight). Carrot will alert you when you get close to the limit—or, heaven forbid, allow yourself to overindulge.
If you do happen to go over your calorie limit, Carrot will sound a warning and offer up a few options. First, you can just put that piece of cheesecake down and step away from the table. If that’s not an option (and that should never be an option for cheesecake), you can pay a $.99 bribe (via in-app purchase) to add the item to your diary (the list of foods you’ve scanned) without actually adding it to your calorie count.
If you don’t want to pay, you’ve got one more option: “accept consequences.” This is actually a pretty clever choice. Since Carrot can’t technically murder you for exceeding your limit, it will instead in dramatically increase your chances of running into a full-screen ad while using the app (and some of the ads are actually jokes themselves). There are also social shaming options that can tell all your friends what terrible self-control you have.
You can also add physical activity to your diary, which will help counteract the calories you shoveled into your big dumb face.
Once you’ve scanned in some food and added some activities, you can get a daily report that gives you your total calories consumed and burned compared to your goal. For every day you don’t go “overboard,” you’ll work your way toward a shiny new medal. You can also earn “meatspace” (real-world) rewards through Kiip.
There’s also one more extremely clever feature to help you remember to log your calories. You can pair your iPhone with an iBeacon that you keep in your refrigerator. When you get near your fridge, Carrot Hunger will send you a notification reminding you to log whatever you’re about to eat.
Carrot Hunger offers a handful of in-app purchases aside from the bribe. There’s the Ruthless Efficiency Collection ($1.99), which enables use of the recent items bar when scanning in food, allows you to add multiple items at once, and lets you add quick actions to the app’s main screen.
The AdCrusher 2000 Robot in-app purchase ($3.99) which, as you might expect, removes all advertising in the app. A few cosmetic options are also available: a bronze, silver, or gold avatar platform can be purchased to customize the pedestal your in-app representative stands on in the main screen. Those cost $.99, $2.99, and $9.99, respectively.
Carrot Hunger is available now on the App Store free of charge. If you’re looking for a calorie tracker, I highly recommend giving it a shot. It’s laced with humorous Easter eggs and enough snark to keep an ordinarily boring task interesting.