Why read tomorrow what you can skim today with Wikiseer

Sep 16, 2010
Tech

Fans of Cliff Notes rejoice, the Internet equivalent has arrived in the form of Wikiseer. Wikiseer takes web pages full of those frustrating, disgusting words, and distills them to their essence — a few paragraphs resembling an outline that will help you get the gist of the story you could’ve been reading. You then have […]

Fans of Cliff Notes rejoice, the Internet equivalent has arrived in the form of Wikiseer.

Wikiseer takes web pages full of those frustrating, disgusting words, and distills them to their essence — a few paragraphs resembling an outline that will help you get the gist of the story you could’ve been reading. You then have the option of actually reading the story, but why do that when there are plenty of other stories you can half-read?

Sarcasm aside, I am impressed with Wikiseer. I was never a Cliff Notes person when it came to books, but when you get linked to web pages with some serious verbiage, it’d be nice to be able to skim for the details, and Wikiseer lets you do that with ease.

Using Wikiseer doesn’t take much work, either. Plug the web address you want the outline of, and you’re golden. Links you click once in the app are automatically defaulted to the summary format, but that can be turned off if you want a crack at the full page first.

That said, Wikiseer isn’t perfect. There are a few times, specifically on shorter stories, where the view is truncated so much that the only thing left in the outline view is the byline footer at the bottom of the page.

Worse still, there have been sporadic instances where you’re unable to get the outline view at all, even on longer stories. Luckily these moments don’t seem to pop up very often.

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Overall, however, Wikiseer is a dream app for iPhone users out there who just want to get to the point. Let’s just hope it doesn’t spark some sort of short-form revolution, because I hate writing outlines.

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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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