Articles iPhone app provides a great Wikipedia experience

Feb 24, 2011

Say what you will about the plethora of unnecessary apps, but I have to believe Wikipedia-related apps might soon be leading the pack. Yet, as I begin to wonder what you could possibly improve upon in the countless iterations of Wiki apps, along comes Articles — The Wikipedia App, with a wonderful Safari-aping interface and a list of great features.

For starters, the organization of Articles is topnotch. As mentioned, the app mimics Safari. This lets users quickly open multiple search tabs, enabling them to have a number of open Wikipedia articles at one time.

An additional feature enabling users to find articles near their current location is also one of the better tricks I’ve seen in a Wiki app.

Then there is the usual array of features, all represented well here, including the outline view of articles, ushered tastefully to another button on Articles, and, of course, shaking the app provides you with a random article. Those features don’t differ much from the competition’s, but they’re executed with grace here.

About the only slip-up Articles faces is in its “Read It Later” options. Choosing an article for offline retrieval is simple. Unfortunately, you can’t save something without finding a hyperlink for it. Search “Chicago,” and enjoy the Chicago article, but if you want to read it later, you’d better find a hyperlink to it on another page. It’s an odd omission that’s more annoyance than anything, but in such a well-put-together package, it’s unexpected.

At this point in the iPhone’s life, I’d be surprised if anyone didn’t already have his or her own preferred Wikipedia app. I have a few myself. That said, if you’re in the market for a change of style or you missed the boat the first time, Articles — The Wikipedia App is as good as any out there, and in most cases quite a bit better.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.


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