Wikipedia is not the most beautiful, fun or innovative app we’ve tested, but it earns five stars in our book because it’s exactly what we’re looking for. With no frills, it offers the solid, user-generated and sourced content from Wikipedia.com.
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The Wikipedia app receives a sterling 5/5 rating, not for innovation, beauty or life-consuming fun. It, like its web counterpart, is perfect thanks to its content.
And really, that content is perfect because of its users. What started out as a bit of a thought experiment (users submitting information) is now a form of research most of us accept into our daily lives. Wikipedia users and staffers create pages of topical information, add information to them and then anyone else can too. People can then correct mistakes, update with new events or refine complex ideas into digestible meals for the brain-hungry masses.
Although Wikipedia is still a bit of a joke for anyone who, heaven forbid, uses the library to do research (even though any good Wikipedia article cites its sources), it has all but made physical encyclopedias extinct. It’s vast, it’s fast and it’s highly convenient—much more so in app form.
There are no limitations in the app, content-wise. Anything you can find online can be found through the app. The text is simple black and white, and sections of articles are collapsed into tabs so you can find what you’re looking for with great ease.
Save pages, find articles about landmarks and events nearby, and read in any of Wikipedia’s available languages. You can do everything except contribute or alter to the articles (you’ll have to get back in front of your desktop computer for that).
Just remember to keep in mind that though it’s nice to have a worldwide data farm of information at your fingertips, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales would probably be the first to encourage you to try and use your own brain before relying on everyone else’s. If people don’t “know stuff” on their own, there wouldn’t be a Wikipedia in the first place. And we digress.
Reviewed: Jun 29, 2012 | Nick Hurwitch