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Think of all the things you’ve always wanted to know how to do: fold origami, set a formal dinner table, pick a lock…or maybe have sex in a car? Amazingly enough, you can learn how to do all of these things—and many more—with Howcast’s free iPhone app. This excellent freebie puts an iPhone “wrapper” on the mind-blowing array of how-to video content available on Howcast.com.
Search for topics in the search bar or tap on Most Recent or Featured to see a list of how-to videos on Howcast.
Because the content is served from Howcast’s site, you need a wireless Internet connection (Wi-Fi or 3G preferably, though it worked fine over Edge too) to get the most out of Howcast. Even so, we occasionally ran into glitches that seemed to be caused by the way a video file was formatted. In these instances, when we tapped the icon to play a video, we could hear the audio, but all we saw was a static QuickTime audio screen. This occurred, for example, with the How to Apply Self-Tanner video.
Howcast content runs the gamut from silly to serious. One of the top-rated vids on the site—and one of our favorites—is How to Look Great in Photographs. In contrast, How to Convince Someone to Go Skinny-Dipping and How to Take a Nude Portrait are about as campy as Howcast videos get. If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at origami, there are almost a dozen videos on the subject.
If you like a video enough to share it with a friend (or enemy), tap Share to email them a link to the video on Howcast.com.
The app has some fun features that you won’t find by visiting the site on your computer: If you shake your iPhone with Howcast running, it’ll choose a popular video at random and surprise you with its selection. That’s how we discovered How to Avoid Long Lines at Amusement Parks and How to Make a Coin Disappear—both incredibly handy bits of know-how, depending on who you hang out with.
Howcast is a standout useful—and entertaining—app in a huge and growing sea of supercool freebies in the App Store. You won’t regret giving it the 0.4MB it’ll take up on your iPhone or iPod touch.