August 2, 2010
preview of Discover, Cooliris' nifty iPad app that turns Wikipedia into a digital magazine, it's now available in the App Store. Discover gives iPad users a new and more visually stimulating way to explore Wikipedia. The app sports a more interactive way to search and find just what you are looking for on Wikipedia by reformatting all of its content and breaking it up into magazine-style pages, which can be navigated with swipes of your finger. Each page displays only Wikipedia content in portrait mode, while hiding the search bar, table of contents, and history on different pages which are accessible via swipes and pinches. Related articles can be found by turning your iPad into landscape mode, and you can always get back to the article of the day (the front page) by shaking your device. Discover also adds themes to every Wikipedia page, giving it a more magazine-like feel. You aren't able to choose themes, however, as they are simply randomly applied. Cooliris also did away with the usual blue links, and have instead chosen to allow you to tap and hold on any word on the page to bring up dictionary definitions or a preview of the corresponding Wikipedia page. But Discover may not be for you Wikipedia power users out there since it doesn't offer any offline functionality. It also displays a full page advertisement inside of each Wikipedia article, which can be an eyesore. Even with its shortcomings, Discover is definitely worth your time to at least try out. It certainly won't hurt since it is available for free. Hopefully in the future Cooliris will add even more themes to Discover that can be applied manually, offline functionality, and maybe even the ability to remove ads via in-app purchase. If you do decide to give it a try, here are some quick tips. You can access the help page by simply going to the article of the day (shake) and then swiping from left to right. You can also change the font size and type by going into the "Settings" app, finding Discover in the list, and then you will see the "Presentation" section with all of the info you require.
Discover — Wikipedia in a Magazine