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Summary:

Wikipedia’s website may have been dark yesterday in protest of SOPA, but now there is a new official Wikipedia app for Android 2.2 and up devices. You could use the mobile web for Wikipedia, but four key features make this app worth the download.

wikipedia-for-android

Wikipedia’s website may have been dark yesterday in protest of SOPA, but now there is a new official Wikipedia app for Android devices. The free app is available in the Android Market for all Android smartphones and tablets running Android 2.2 or above. Just like the Wikipedia site, the app requires a web connection, but it also allows articles to be saved for offline reading.

Android users could easily save a web bookmark for quick access to Wikipedia, but after just a few minutes of using the app, I know this software will be staying on my handset. A few key features are the reason:

  • Using a phone’s integrated GPS, the app can search nearby locations for Wikipedia entries.
  • A history of your Wikipedia searches. You can get this in a mobile browser, but it would be among the entire browsing history of the device.
  • A “save page” button that enables offline reading of a Wikipedia entry (although in my testing, it seems to save every offline page twice).
  • A one-button translation option that supports more than 40 languages.
 

Just like any Android app — or web page for that matter — you can also share a Wikipedia entry through Android’s native sharing features. You are not able to modify a Wikipedia page in the app, but for researching a topic or learning something new, Wikipedia’s new Android app might trump the mobile webpage.

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  1. So far – not impressed. It’s kinda sluggish, no share option, but worst – there is no integration in search app.

  2. Wikipedia does not show up in my Android Market. WUWT?

    1. Hmmm…. try the online Market and send it to your phone, maybe?

      1. Finally I found it in the Android Market. It was #421 in the Free Apps, right next to Tagged, that so-called social networking site that illegally (without consent) takes over a user’s contacts and sends e-mail to those contacts – as though the e-mail originated with the contact.

        From this article, I would expect the Wikipedia app to be in one of the lists in the Staff Picks or the Editor’s Choice.

  3. Wish cooliris will release their wonderful Discover app (currently on iPad) to Android as well.

  4. I never donated to Wikipedia thus far simply since I restrict the sites I put my credit data on (dislike paypal). So my recommendation for them would be to add a 1$ app there that is the same as the free, but under the name Wiki Premium (donation). I would gladly buy it immediately.

    1. Tal, that’s a great idea! But get the app while it’s free. ;)

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