Over the years, HowStuffWorks.com has evolved. The Web site remains the core of what we do. But we also have thousands of videos, more than 10 popular podcasts (audio and video) and blogs. Our podcasters and bloggers have Facebook and Twitter accounts. More than ever before, HowStuffWorks.com is an interactive experience. But the Web site isn't able to take advantage of all of these features -- they're spread out across multiple sites, podcasts and blogs.
That's where the new HowStuffWorks.com iPhone app comes in. It lets you listen to podcasts, browse articles, read blog posts and even interact with the people who create the content. For example, using the app, you can listen to Stuff You Should Know, one of the most popular podcasts on iTunes. While listening, you can visit the articles Josh and Chuck cite as they guide you through topics ranging from real-life abandoned cities to the fictional Necronomicon. You can also read Josh and Chuck's blog posts or visit their Facebook and Twitter pages, all within the same app.
The app also streams video. You'll be able to watch more than 200 videos at launch with more to follow. And the app has access to more than 29,000 articles on HowStuffWorks.com. The app development team has optimized the articles for your iPhone or iPod touch. You can even download content to your device so that you can access it when you have limited connectivity.
Here's just a few stats of what the app has available at launch:
- more than 1,950 audio podcast episodes
- more than 900 top 10 lists
- more than 220 episodes of our video podcasts
- access to the most recent 10 blog posts in each category (Stuff You Should Know, Stuff You Missed in History Class, and others)
The app also takes advantage of the iPhone's features, including its ability to switch from portrait to landscape mode and back again. The app uses push notification technology to send new content to the device as it becomes available, giving you the chance to listen to the latest episodes or read the latest blog posts as soon as they publish.
The exciting thing about the app is that it pulls together content that has traditionally been set apart from everything else. It's easy to skim an article while listening to a podcast. You can interact with writers and editors through blog comments, Facebook and Twitter. And you can watch video clips that help explain the subjects we write and podcast about. It's a one-stop shop for all things HowStuffWorks.com.
The app will evolve over time. As we develop new content for the site, we'll integrate it into the app. The library of content will also grow so that the app remains current and fresh. We're also planning apps for other platforms in the future. Our goal is to give you the chance to take HowStuffWorks.com with you wherever you go.
For more on iPhone apps and other related topics, take a look at the links below.
- Hoch, Jason. Vice President, Product Development, Discovery Communications Digital Media. Personal interview. Oct. 27, 2010.