Features & Use
Howcast for Android shows you fun, useful how-to videos wherever you are — when you’re out and about or just too lazy to get to your computer.
Initially, this market description caught my attention, but the actual how-to videos didn't turn out to be exactly what I had imagined. Although there are a couple of useful videos available, most of them shouldn’t be taken too seriously. On both Howcast.com and the Android app you’ll find videos on:
How To Actually Get Some Sleep on a Plane
How To Make an Origami Inflatable Bunny
How To Handle It If Your Parents Buy You Dorky Clothes
Or even better
How To Remove a Bra
How To Date a Younger Woman
These are only a couple of examples of what you can find. I came across a “Bass for Beginners” music tutorial as well as a recipe for Korean tacos. There’s just about everything you can think of at Howcast.com
The user interface offers you access to all videos that you can watch on Howcast.com. Everything from video playback to searching and browsing through different categories works very well.
How-To videos from Howcast.com are only useful if you can personally gain something from the video content. You can easily find out whether any given video is worth your time either on your computer or directly from your free Android app.
Screen & Controls
This app displays a list of featured videos at start-up. Here you can see a small screenshot of every individual video with a description (e.g. How to Make Tasty SPAM Recipes), the number of views, the respective category, as well as the video’s rating.
A second tab labeled “Recent” shows a list of the latest videos. The third tab reveals a list of defined playlist that cannot be customized or created by individual users. To give you a taste, here are some examples:
Sit, Fido, Sit
Spring Fun Games
After selecting a playlist, you are displayed a list with videos related to your playlist. Finally, the fourth tab is the search feature. Here you can search for videos in your field of interest.
You’ll find the following options via the menu-button:
In the categories section you’ll find some of the following subjects:
Cars & Transportation
House & Garden
Parenting & Family
Sex & Relationships
And many more…
Every video begins loading and playing as soon as you click on it. Using the buttons located on the playback bar you can add a video to your favorites or share a video’s link with others.
Pressing the menu button during playback, you have a “Read Text” and “Details” option. While “Details” only offers you a short video summary, “Read Text” shows you the entire description as seen on the Howcast website. This is only the case for videos produced by Howcast and not those from other sources. It should be pointed out that most videos do actually come from Howcast.com
Within any given list of videos, you’ll find the following options by a long press on any video:
Add to Favorites
Both the Howcast controls and video playback via the Android app work extremely well. Again, the app is great only for those that get a kick out of these videos.
Speed & Stability
While there were no serious problems on the Nexus One (except for the occasional lag), Howcast was irresponsive on the G1 and ran anything but smoothly. A lot of work needs to be on this front.
How-To Videos from Howcast.com can be downloaded for free from the Android market.