Audio and encyclopedic knowledge combine in Qwiki iPad app

May 5, 2011
Tech

There’s no doubt that Qwiki, a new reference app for iPad, is outstanding in its design and function, but I’m not convinced that Qwiki, as a service anyway, will resonate with users. The product of $8 million venture funding, Qwiki offers presentations on more than 3 million topics, pulling its information from all corners of […]

There’s no doubt that Qwiki, a new reference app for iPad, is outstanding in its design and function, but I’m not convinced that Qwiki, as a service anyway, will resonate with users.

The product of $8 million venture funding, Qwiki offers presentations on more than 3 million topics, pulling its information from all corners of the Web. Users can perform their own searches or rely on Qwiki’s categories, such as “popular”; explore Qwiki’s based on a map; or view the Qwiki of the day. When viewing a Qwiki, readers, nay, listeners, are treated to story time in which a robotic female voice reads aloud the facts of your searched-for topic. While she’s reading, you’ll see a photo slideshow related to the topic. Qwiki’s voice is pleasant enough to listen to, but she doesn’t do so well with commas and other punctuation and occasionally pauses in the middle of words (Morgan Freeman, she’s not).

Qwiki’s speed is impressive — when I searched for some obscure people, Qwiki delivered spot-on text (the photos were only tangentially related, though). Upon completion, Qwiki offers links to related information, so you can learn more, or you can share the Qwiki via email, Facebook and Twitter. Users can control the speed of Qwiki’s information with pause, but I wish there was an option to control Qwiki length, so the app would pull in more or less information, depending on your preference.

I can definitely see users lose track of time while jumping through the app’s massive data collection. That is, if people are willing to open the app in the first place. Again, Qwiki is a really neat product, but I just don’t know that users will make it a primary stop in their reference libraries. If I’m looking for information fast, I don’t see myself launching Qwiki to have the answer read to me (and I’m pretty lazy at times). But, I do see the potential in Qwiki to be a great supplement for kids and students, and it’s an ideal option for users who retain information better if it’s read out loud to them.

READ  Trending - Did Google Copy Twitter?

Qwiki the app gets a five-star rating. Qwiki the service, well, we’ll just have to see.

Download the free Appolicious iPad app

Search for more

Home Apps Games