Wikiweb hit Apple’s App Store this week, but not only does the unofficial incarnation offer another conduit into the heart of the world’s preeminent online encyclopedia, it charges for it too. And not a token amount either, but $4.99 (£2.99 GBP). So why would you ever consider parting with your hard-earned cash to secure ownership of this app?
Wikiweb: In a nutshell
Wikiweb’s main selling point is as a Wikipedia reader that not only serves up the usual content crowdsourced from willing bodies around the world, but it also visualizes the connections between articles.
You can explore any Wikipedia article, and you’ll be issued with articles containing gorgeous, beautifully presented typeset. But the presentation is only part of the appeal here. It lets you discover interesting articles through connections you may not have initially expected.
When you first launch the app, you’ll be presented with a blank screen that says ‘Tap to search’. For this, I searched for T-Rex, and got a single item in the middle of the screen. When I tapped once, a sprawl of related links sprung out of the main search phrase, giving me options such as Jurassic Park (Film), other dinosaurs and related key figures.
To launch the article, you have to long-press the link. As you can see below, the typeface and general feel of the Wikiweb app is very nice (left), and you can see here how it looks compared to the same article on the authenticate Wikipedia app (right).
While reading an article, tap and hold a text link to open the page in the background. And it’s worth noting the scrolling and general navigation of the Wikiweb is a joy, too.
The sharing feature is also a nice touch. When you’re on the main subject pagebefore you click to read the content – in this case ‘The Next Web’ – you hit the little share icon at the bottom and you’re presented with the option of sharing by email or by tweet. In this case, I selected tweet.