Developer: Wang Lixiang
Price: $1.99 Download on the App Store
Cute Origami from orientmaple.com is an iPhone app containing instructional origami videos. Origami is the traditional Japanese art of paper folding. Intricate pieces of art are made with one square piece of paper, using only geometric folds and requiring no glue or scissors.
The version of Cute Origami that I downloaded included 6 easy-to-follow videos: fox, crane, snake, mouse, boat and Japanese maple leaf. I thought I was downloading the updated version that has 3 additional videos, but this was not the case when I opened Cute Origami.
The Cute Origami videos demonstrate how to make each of the origami figures by filming a person’s hands as she folds. The videos appear to be of professional quality, with serene, non-distracting backgrounds that allow you to study exactly how the person is folding. The films are blissfully silent, letting your eyes and hands do all the work without overwhelming you with elaborate auditory directions. In the corner of each video there is a still diagram of each fold as well.
Let me say this: Origami is not easy. I tried the videos out with a few friends and we were all eventually successful, but it took some work. The designers claim of their videos, “even a little kid is able to understand it.” Understanding it and doing it are two different things. Origami requires patience and practice. The Cute Origami app is the perfect teaching tool, and is far better quality than most of the free instructional videos available on the internet. And the resulting origami artwork is, well, super cute.
Because of its large file size, you will need to download Cute Origami onto your computer first and then synch your iTunes apps with your iPhone. If you are an auditory learner and prefer to follow instructions like “Fold opposite corners together and crease, then unfold and press adjacent corners halfway together,” then Cute Origami is probably not for you. If you find the origami challenging, you can both pause and rewind the videos, but you are not able to play the videos in slow motion. Though there is no help section, Cute Origami is a straightforward iPhone app that is simple to use without any instructions.