By Robert Chin
Wikipanion is an elegant, easy-to-use iPhone and iPad app that supersedes the über-popular online reference website Wikipedia in style, speed and ease of use.
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Wikipedia is one of the most popular and frequently visited sites on the Internet. (Internet research company Netcraft says so.) The reference website relies on its user base to create and update the many informational stubs. Wikipedia is also run by a nonprofit organization, interested mainly in increasing the breadth and depth of the website.
Serving all of the above purposes and surpassing Wikipedia on several levels is Wikipanion, the iPhone and iPad app that brings you a faster, easier, advanced version of the truly excellent website, in our humble opinion.
First off, Wikipanion is adjustable. Don’t like the sans serif typeset that Wikipanion uses? Simply tap the settings wheel and flip it to the serif font. Want a larger font size? That’s scaleable to your liking as well.
You can even look up words in the Wiktionary, email the link of a page you’re reviewing, open the link in Safari and print. If Wikipanion only had features such as these, it would be worth having. But there is much, much more.
Like Wikipedia, the screen is broken up into two sections. The bulleted section headings on the left, and the corresponding entries per those headings on the right. But unlike Wikipedia, Wikipanion offers truncated bullet points, so no scrolling is necessary to navigate.
Tap your page’s two wavy lines and you’ll get a full list of options and categories; some related to the current search and some unrelated.
The coolest of those choices is the “Current Location” option. Enable your GPS location and you’ll get an entire list of all Wikipanion-related articles and entries that are in your immediate area. Not only can you visit or read about the places and events around you any time you open the app, but you can actually learn something about the history and geography of your location any time you change it.
You can also bookmark pages and cross-reference entries with a whole variety of options. The app is also intuitive, just in case you like to use your device longways. Try that on your laptop.
Reviewed: Jan 30, 2013 | P.K. LassiterAlso featured on: The Ultimate College Survival Guide: Best Apps for College Students, Also featured on: 10 Best iPad Apps of 2012