Best App for Browsing Wikipedia
Smart Search: As you type in the search box, Wikipanion displays matching Wikipedia articles, letting you type just a few characters to find what you’re looking for. In its standard settings, Wikipanion searches only the English-language encyclopedia, but you can tell it to search in other languages, too. Set French as one of the active languages, for example, and voilà, Wikipanion parle français.
Phone-friendly: Rather than squeeze original Wikipedia web pages into your small screen, the app uses its own easy-to-read formatting to display articles. Read in portrait or landscape view, and adjust the font size as you like. Tap the dock’s list icon to see the article’s table of contents, letting you skip straight to the section on gender issues in sumo wrestling, for example. Tap the wavy-lines icon to see related articles.
Save it: With so many tantalizing links to related topics, it requires real discipline to read a Wikipedia article to the end. Wikipanion Plus helps by letting you note links to follow later. Turn on the queue feature and, instead of jumping straight to a new article when you tap a link, Wikipanion adds it to a wanna-read list. The app can download articles in the background, so they’re ready when you are—useful over slow network connections.
Favorites: Tap the book icon in the search bar to see the Bookmarks screen, where you can add, edit, or follow favorite articles. Wikipanion Plus lets you bookmark a specific section of an article, not just the general page (here, the “Venom” section of the Platypus page is bookmarked). Tap the clock icon to see your browsing history, or tap the download icon to see articles you’ve saved for offline browsing.
Picture perfect: Tap any photo to see the full-screen version. Tap the photo to download the full-size version and stash it in the photo library of your iPhone or iPod Touch.
Wikipedia’s big thing is that it’s free—free to edit, free to use. So why pay for a Wikipedia app when you could just browse online for, um, free? The modest price is worthwhile for serious wikithusiasts: Wikipanion Plus delivers speed and convenience with a browser cleverly adapted to the small screen and the link-heavy encyclopedia. (Yes, yes, an excellent free version of Wikipanion is also available… but without the app’s handy queue and save features.)
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