WikiHow, a Wikipedia-like project that aims to build the world's largest repository of how-to articles, released an interesting iPhone application this morning. The application (iTunes link) gives you access to wikiHow's vast collection of how-to articles about topics ranging from how to be a twitter celebrity to how to build your own picnic table. Most interestingly, the application also contains a "Survival Kit," which is cached on the phone (or iPod touch) for offline reading, and which includes articles about topics like the Heimlich Maneuver or how to survive a plane crash.

The app works pretty much like you would expect. You can browse the survival kit, as well as a selection of featured articles. Of course, you can also search through wikiHow's archives of about 50,000 how-tos and bookmark the most interesting articles.

One neat feature of the app is that it goes into full-screen mode when you tilt the phone horizontally. Whenever you feel like reading a random how-to article, you just have to shake the phone.

Get the Source Code

Another nice aspect about the application is that wikiHow released the source code of the application under the MIT License.


Of course, in case you really find yourself in an emergency, it might already be too late to read that article about how to survive an alligator attack, but if it's a slightly lethargic alligator, you might at least have a chance to read up on the basics before you get to put your new-found knowledge into practice - even without a cellular connection.