Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia site that is loved (and hated) by millions. It’s a one-stop wonder for finding information on almost everything (in ten different languages), but its critics claim that some of its listings are inaccurate.
With the advent of the iPad, Wikipedia has only grown in popularity, thanks to the explosion of Wiki-related apps. Do a search on “wiki” within the App Store for iPad and 36 apps are available. And, this number is sure to rise in the future as the number of iPad users grow.
After spending some time playing with most of those apps, I consider the following four to be the best:
Wikipanion for iPad by Robert Chin is the quintessential Wiki app that is easy to use and most similar to the actual website. Two versions exist: an unpaid version and an “enhanced” app for $4.99. Both versions offer measured views of each article in a simple format. Searches are handled using Google search or a more comprehensive full-text search. Users can also share information with others using email or Twitter.
The Plus version adds a queuing feature which allows keeping track of previous searches. In addition, the app will save pages even before being read. Both features work well, but unless you find yourself needing Wikipedia on an almost daily basis, I would suggest you save your money and download the free app. The Plus version is expensive.
A new addition to the App Store is Wikihood for iPad by Dr. Stephan Gillmeier. Like Wikipanion, its creator offers a free version and one called Wikihood Plus for iPad. The concept here boils down to one word: location. You type a location (current or otherwise) into the app’s search box and are then shown the nearest attractions. For example, a search on Las Vegas, shows the Las Vegas Strip, etc.
The free version is limited to information on local “persons” and “culture/buildings.” Also, there is no search functionality for Wikipedia within the app. Naturally, the Plus version eliminates these restrictions and is priced at $6.99.
iWiki for iPad by Comoki Software counts beauty as its biggest strength. iWiki for iPad excels with fonts and photos that have a crispness about them that is lacking in similar apps such as Wikipanion. Still, with a price tag of $2.99, some users might be just as happy downloading a free app that returns the same results.
Articles for iPad beats iWiki for iPad on beauty and is my favorite Wiki-related app. Created by Sophiestication Software, the app presents articles in a way that no current competitor even comes close to. Each story is unparalleled in detail and artistry and could measure up to the best looking books in the iBook store. Priced at $4.99, the app isn’t cheap, but is well worth it.
An important note: It should be said that the actual Wikipedia website works very nicely on Apple’s device. I found no noticeable differences (or irregularities) between the site on an iPad or on a PC/Mac. Best of all: finding articles from the source is completely free.
Alright readers, which Wiki-related apps do you find most appealing for your iPad? Leave us your comments below.