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7 Free WikiPedia iPhone Apps Compared

Having an iPhone and thus Internet access everywhere is an amazing thing. Being able to look up things you need to know instantly where ever you are is probably the best thing about it. And most things are looked up in the WikiPedia of course.

So it's no wonder that there are a number of tools promising to make reading the WikiPedia on your iPhone faster and more comfortable. I found seven different free1) applications and there are a few non-free ones as well.

I was curious how those apps would differ and downloaded all the free ones. Let's start with a feature Matrix before digging into each application a bit deeper.


Wapedia Wikipanion Eureka Wikiamo Quickpedia Qwikipedia WikiTap
Language Select prefs search multiple search english english english
Auto Completion {yes} {yes} {yes} {yes} {yes} {no} {yes}
Fulltext Search {no} {no} {yes}2) {no} {no} {no} {yes}
Search in Article {no} {yes} {yes} {no} {no} {no} {no}
Nearby Search3) {no} {no} {no} {no} {yes} {no} {no}
TOC Navigation4) {yes} {yes} {yes} {yes} {no}5) {no} {yes}6)
View History7) {no} {yes} {yes} {yes} {yes} {no} {no}
Used Font sans serif selectable sans serif sans serif sans serif serif sans serif
Custom Font Size {no} {yes} {yes} {yes} {yes} {yes} {no}
Bookmarks {no} {yes} {yes} {yes} {no} {no} {no}
Landscape Mode {yes} {yes} {yes} {yes} {no} {no} {no}
Open in Safari {yes} {yes} {yes} {no} {no} {no} {yes}8)
Share via Email {yes} {yes} {yes} {yes} {yes} {no} {yes}
Mainpage9) {yes} {yes} {no} {yes} {no} {no} {no}
Featured Article {yes} {no} {no} {no} {yes} {no} {no}
Random Article {yes} {yes} {yes}10) {yes}11) {yes} {no} {no}
Audio Support12) {no} {yes} {no} {no} {no}13) {no} {no}
Preference Panel14) {yes} {yes} {yes} {yes} {no} {no} {no}
Offline Mode15) {no} {yes} {yes} {yes} {no} {no} {no}
Wapedia Wikipanion Eureka Wikiamo Quickpedia Qwikipedia WikiTap

Notes

Wapedia accesses a mobile optimized (cached) version of Wikipedia. It paginates long articles. Menus buggy in landscape mode

Wikipanion can also search Google Definitions and Wiktionary. The only app with working audio support.

Eureka does not follow redirects, but displays a info page with link instead. Choosing “translate” from the menu crashes the app.

Wikiamo looks nearly identical to Eureka but has fewer features

Quickpedia can display current news and popular Articles from Wikipedia. The interface is a bit unusal in a bad way. The only app with location based search.

Qwikipedia is just a wrapper around Safari. Nearly no features. The original Wikipedia page layout is briefly shown before the page is loaded fully.

WikiTap allows users to attach photos (from the iPhone) and Videos (looked up at YouTube) to Wikipedia articles (only in the app, not uploaded to Wikipedia) . It accesses a cached (and often outdated) version of Wikipedia by default when switching to “Wiki mode” many features are disabled.

Screenshots

Summary

All those apps will display a WikiPedia article without the navigation menu and somewhat reformatted for the small screen. But they also take away two important features of a wiki: they will not give you access to older article revisions and you can not edit the articles. The first is especially bad when the current revision was vandalized. However some apps allow you to open the article in Safari, giving you access to the full WikiPedia interface when needed.

My favorites are Wikipanion and Eureka. While the former has more features like Audio support, Google and Wiktionary search, the latter excels with it's ability to search multiple languages at once. Unfortunately neither of them supports location aware searching for articles covering nearby sights.

Tags:
iphone, apps, comparison, wikipedia, software, review
Similar posts:
1) as in beer
2) via Google
3) displaying WikiPedia articles based on your current location
4) giving you an iPhone UI for jumping to a subsection of the article
5) but it collapses sections
6) for cached version only
7) a list of previously viewed articles
8) embedded
9) Shortcut to access WikiPedia's homepage
10) shake the phone
11) by menu or shaking the phone
12) Tested with .ogg file at Lojban article
13) trying froze the application, needing an iPhone reboot
14) Can the App be configured in the iPhone preferences
15) Viewing a previously cached article again while in flight mode. Note: none of the apps caches images.
Posted on Friday, December the 12th 2008 (5 years ago).

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