App Review: The Official Wikipedia App

When I discovered the Wikipedia website, I was studying for a professional qualification and I had tapped a query into Google, which returned the article on the site. The information on the page seemed suspect and after investigation, it turned out that it wasn't entirely correct. However, rather than just accept that the Internet was wrong (grin), instead I corrected the mistakes.

Roll forward a few years and the Wikipedia website has gone from strength to strength. From an Android device perspective, the website now renders well in mobile format and the Wikipedia Foundation have released an application, too, which has moved from strength to strength.

Although the website renders well on a mobile browser and my preference is to stick with Chrome rather than download the application, the official Wikipedia application deserves a spot on my tablets as a great window into the site.

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There are many Wikipedia browsing applications available for the Android platform and perhaps I'm a little paranoid [link to public Wifi article] but I favour the official application as it significantly reduces the chance of installing malware onto my tablet.

So, onto the Wikipedia application. I don't want to discuss at length the features of the application because it's a Wikipedia browser; you use this instead of the Chrome browser. Instead, I'd like to concentrate on two of the application's killer features.

The first of these is especially relevant if you have a Samsung or Motorola device with an AMOLED screen, because the app allows you to view the Wikipedia website as white text on a dark background. This saves power because of the way AMOLED technology works (each individual pixel must be lit for a white dot, so you're asking the display to work very hard).

For the rest of us, being able to view the Wikipedia on a dark background makes it much easier on the eyes, especially when working in darkness.

The second great feature is the app's built-in ability to save pages for offline viewing. Sure, there are other applications available to store webpages offline, but the app's native support makes life easier because all you need to do is go into the menu and tap, “save page.”

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