Wikipedia isn’t know for looking good or being easy to navigate. It’s extremely useful, but it is something of a time warp as far as the user interface goes. It’s especially bad when you’re trying to use Wikipedia on your iOS device. We’re in luck, though. These three apps can take the edge off by re-imagining the browsing experience.
WikiWeb, a $4.99 USD iPhone and iPad app, is trying to make the experience of browsing Wikipedia much better. Obviously, it offers a better interface. That’s a no brainer. The text is typeset better. Images are easier to view fullscreen. All of which makes for a great experience. That’s not all, though. This app wants you to be able to explore all of Wikipedia. It has a very interesting spider web of connected articles that helps you find articles related to the topic of your choice. This is a very clever app, and it is absolutely worth the asking price.
If you’re interested in having a more structured environment for your Wikipedia browsing, consider picking up Wikipanion Plus. It is available on the App Store for $4.99 USD, but you’ll need to pay that twice if you want a version for your iPhone and a version for your iPad. The real selling points of this app are its queue and offline reading. If you’re doing research, you’ll likely find much more data than you can look at in one sitting. Add interesting articles to your queue, and you’ll never lose track of them. Offline reading is absolutely a godsend when you’re outside of cell range. Keeping a local cache of the most important Wikipedia articles can really save your butt.
This $2.99 USD app will knock your socks off if you use Wikipedia heavily. Not only does it support tabbed browsing, full text search, and article queueing, but it also has iCloud syncing built right in. If you’re on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, your saved info will be there waiting for you. Truly, this is a steal.
Whichever you choose, you’ll be a happy Wikipedian. Now if only someone could take on the website with as much care as these apps have, we might be in good shape.