Cigar Smoker (app review)

These days, it seems like there’s an app for everything. From blowing out candles to virtual bubble wrap, is there anything the iPhone can’t do (other than 4G/LTE, that is)? Now there’s even an app for the cigar blog reader. Cigar Smoker for iOS is designed to provide mobile access to cigar information, news, and reviews, plus it allows users to upload & share photos of their favorite (and not-so-favorite) smokes.

Most of our reviews here at the Stogie Review cover cigars and cigar accessories, but Brian Gaida, developer of Cigar Smoker, recently contacted the SR team to let us know about his new app and see if we’d be interested in providing some feedback. So, I installed it on my iPad and I’ve been testing it out for a couple of weeks, and figured some folks might be interested in hearing about my experiences.

Cigar Smoker App by the numbers:
Developer: Brian Gaida (GaidaSoft)
Platform: iOS
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad; requires iOS 3.0 or later
Updated: Sept. 30, 2011 (version 1.1)
Source: promo code from the developer
Price: $0.99
App Store: iTunes Link
Twitter: @CigarSmokerApp

The Cigar Smoker app is organized into several different screens. The first screen is titled “Cigar Info” and contains multiple subsections with various bits of cigar information. Contents include tips on how to properly store & prepare cigars, a brief glossary of cigar terms, profiles of famous cigar smokers, and pairing suggestions. There’s also a cigar trivia game where you can test your knowledge of various stogie factoids. For me, this was the least compelling section of the app as it is geared more for the cigar novice, with most of the information coming from websites like bestcigar.org and cigarsmag.com.

 

The News & Reviews section displays a list of cigar review blogs (including the Stogie Review and A Cigar Smoker’s Journal). Tapping on any of these items brings up a list of recent posts from that blog’s RSS feed. If you tap on an individual post, the corresponding webpage is loaded in an in-app browser window for you to read. You can continue browsing the site, following links, etc. before tapping the “Back” button to return to the list of posts. This is a nice feature, but I’d also appreciate having the option to view a combined list of all new posts at once (instead of having to step through each feed’s individual list one at a time), as well as the ability to add/remove feeds of my choosing.

  

In the “Cigar Shots” tab, you can take a photo of whatever cigar you’re currently smoking and upload it to the Cigar Smoker image gallery. Then you can browse the gallery and check out what everyone else is smoking. These photos are also posted to the Cigar Smoker App flickr photostream and the @CigarSmokerApp Twitter timeline. For me, this is the highlight of the app as it’s much easier to browse through this gallery than hunt through forum posts & individual Twitter streams looking for random cigar photos. Hopefully, as more people start using this app, we’ll see more images being uploaded.

Cigar Smoker also features a monthly giveaway inside the app itself. Each user is allowed one entry per month, and a random winner is chosen to receive the prize. This month’s prize is a Rocky Patel Ultimate Sampler Pack (6 cigars) from Cigars International.

In closing, I’m glad this app was created and I’m looking forward to seeing how it grows & develops over time. For 99 cents, you’re essentially paying for the convenience of having all of this information brought together in one place. It won’t drag me away from Twitter and my RSS reader, but I think it’s got some good potential.

If you’d like to check out Cigar Smoker for yourself, the developer (Brian Gaida) was kind enough to send me five (5) promo codes to give away to our loyal Stogie Review readers.

Here are the codes:
HF6E4FXP9TJJ
J9HF9MPEAYRJ
L7X36Y9ML6FJ
JXM44RXRWXH4
7YK3XPFELYFL

Updated: 11 Oct 2011, 3:22pm
Since these promo codes were redeemed so quickly, Brian Gaida (developer of the Cigar Smoker app), just added 10 more download codes in the comments section. So if you were a little quick on the draw the first time around, here’s another chance:

AFXAM7NKJ9R7
FJHKWERJTJER
TJNRNLW696KN
A6XM7666Y7TW
KW7AXKPWN4MW
NW3HHRKPTPKY
HXJTWLH6FNHW
3JTPFL9NLTEK
FK47EPK736NP
FJH6TH4E6YLA

Thanks Brian!

These codes will allow you download & install the app for free. Once a code is redeemed, no one else can use it, so think of this as a “first come, first served” sort of deal. To use a code, simply open the App Store on your iOS device, tap on “Redeem,” and follow the on-screen instructions.

About Charlie:
Charlie has been enjoying cigars since 2000 and generally prefers a medium-bodied, full-flavored smoke. A USAF vet, he is currently pursuing a PhD in computer science, focusing on artificial intelligence and computational linguistics. Originally from Connecticut and now residing in Delaware, Charlie is also a fan of football, science fiction, political philosophy, and single malt scotch. You can contact Charlie on Twitter @greenbacker