SnapGuide: A Simple (and Incredibly Pretty) Way To Make And Share How-To Guides On Your Phone

By Greg Kumparak , written on March 29, 2012

From The News Desk

In the past 24 hours, I've learned how to change a bike tire, catch Dungeness crabs, and bottle beer, all from the same iPhone app: SnapGuide.

I'd have just sat there and kept learning things all day, really, but I had to take a break to write one of the app's founders an email. I don't usually do that. The email read, quite simply:

Holy crap, this thing is pretty.

SnapGuide describes itself as the "easiest way to make and share great looking guides"… and I really don't think there's any better way to put it. It lets you make and view how-to guides, complete with video and photos, directly from your iPhone. Want to teach the world how to cook an eggie in a basket? Sure — just snap photos on your phone along the way. Got something that could do with some good ol' movin' pictures? Shoot step-by-step video, instead.

Oh, and did I mention it's absolutely friggin' beautiful?

I was immediately floored by how well this thing is built. Every inch of the user interface has been polished to perfection, with tiny details (like the subtle threads on the nav bar's buttons) showing just how much care they put into this. Screenshots don't really do it justice.

SnapGuide is incredibly easy to lose yourself in — and I mean that in the best of ways. I started reading one guide, then somehow found myself poking through another. Then another. And another. The design just completely lends itself to making you want to find more to learn.

Beyond just reading guides, they've also absolutely nailed guide creation. It's all done through the very same app, through what really seems like the simplest possible execution. Each step of a guide is a separate page, and you begin the process with two pages by default: the title page, and the materials. Each page you add thereafter can be one of three types: text, picture, or video. Once you've got everything in place, steps can be rearranged by holding and dragging them about, much like rearranging icons on your home screen.

All of the guides are cross-platform; where they lack a dedicated app, it'll still display just as well in a browser. You can explore some of the guides here.

Snapguide was founded by Daniel Raffel, one of the main brains behind Yahoo Pipes, and Steve Krulewitz, who came from Google's Chrome team. They've raised $2M so far, from the likes of Index, Jeff Fagnan, Dave Morin, Gary Clayton, SV Angel, and Michael Arrington. (Disclosure: PandoDaily shares a few investors with SnapGuide)

But really: just check this one out. Unless you've got important things that you need to be doing with your time today — in which case, avoid it like the plague. This app eats time.