Wikipedia Foundation debuts ‘Wikipedia Mobile’ iPhone app in Apple’s iTunes App Store

Apple Online Store “An official Wikipedia application for the iPhone first saw the light of day today, giving users quick and easy access to oodles of information and hours of directionless fun,” Chris Brandrick reports for PC World.

“The non-profit Wikimedia Foundation announced that the [free] ‘Wikipedia Mobile’ application is available for download now from Apple’s App Store,” Brandrick reports. “At this point, the 1.6 MB open-source application is currently little more than a ‘wrapper’ for the mobile version of the Wikipedia site.”

Full article here.

AFP reports “The Wikipedia application for iPhones is an open-source, first version that the foundation hopes to incrementally upgrade with input from software savants worldwide, according to foundation spokesman Jay Walsh. ‘It is a platform we are going to build on. The sky is the limit; we can do whatever we want.'”

“Wikipedia envisions people eventually being able to use smart phones to edit entries and upload pictures or other digital content to the website,” AFP reports.

Full article here.


  1. And what exactly is wrong with that? Many people refer to Wikipedia for everything, multiple times every day. Having a dedicated app instead of pulling up Safari is surely more elegant.

    It is true that very large percentage of 60,000+ apps are just front-end wrappers for existing data online. However, these front-ends allow developers to design the interface for multi-touch, with proper button size and smoother, faster and more elegant user interface than an ordinary HTML/CSS allows.

  2. Uh, Predrag, you <I>are<\I> aware that you can make webpages that look just like an iPhone app and take advantage of MultiTouch, right?

    A nice example is Check it out with your iPhone–you’ll have a hard time telling it’s running in Safari unless you inadvertently scroll the window and see the address bar.

    That’s why I say that most of the Apps on the App Store are glorified web pages. For many of the developers who whine about not being allowed on the App Store, they could easily do their apps as web apps (especially those that go to the Internet to get data) and not have to worry about getting Apple’s approval.

    About the only Apps that make sense are ones that are so simple that going to the Internet is overkill (ie tip calculators) or Apps that make reasonable use of the hardware (accelerometer, GPS, Bluetooth, etc.)

  3. On behalf of all us Knowledge for Knowledge’s Sake Jeopardy Junkies out here …

    Thank You

    now if ya can get a ‘voice search thing’ going like google has, far outter … ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”cool smile” style=”border:0;” />


    (and MDN, you’re up late tonight, yawn, smile)

  4. I’d rather have an offline version of the whole wikipedia database.
    Have you ever been to a foreign country with no wifi and data-roaming disabled (because you would rather make a down payment for a new car than buy 1 GB of traffic at roaming-prices)?
    My 32GB iPhone 3 GS would hopefully offer enough space for it.
    It’s just a question how fast (or slow) it would be to search.

  5. Wikipanion Plus is the ONLY way to go!
    I know that is a drastic statement but if you really want Wikipedia on your iPhone then Wikipanion Plus is the only choice.

    I am not Robert Chin, nor am I affiliated with him or his business in any way. I just really like his work because just works.

    You can download articles, place them in a queue for later reading offline.

    Sweet, aye.

  6. @Rainer
    Steam Heavy Industries’ Wikipedia app works on the iPod touch and iPhone. While the app is small, it downloads about 30Gb of original text into about 4 Gb or iPod space and must do this over WiFi overnight.

    It has proved fabulous when travelling the UK and Europe in historic houses, mountain ranges, city descriptions, famous people, etc with no roaming charges. Well worth the money.

    Cons: it is slow to load and look up, it does not update with new Wiki articles, there are no picture, format, links only raw text and sometimes it says an article is missing.

    It pairs well with the free app for offline definitions and thesaurus.

    BTW I wish the MDN app would cache the articles so you can download them when in WiFi range then read them when out of range.

  7. Here’s another vote for Wikipanion. The official Wikipedia app is a weak first attempt, but it’s always nice to see more organizations taking the iPhone seriously. I’m sure it will only get better over time, but in the meantime, Wikipanion is a much better app.

  8. Wikipedia Mobile is a VERY POOR first attempt on the part of the Wikipedia Foundation. Wikipanion is MUCH better, with several great features that Wikipedia Mobile lacks. Wikipedia Mobile should have never been released in its current PATHETIC state.

  9. @Joey Smith

    I completely concur. It took me ONE article on Wikipedia Mobile to delete the app from my phone. Three reasons:

    1. All the sections are closed and have to be expanded by a button push.
    2. Tables and pictures don’t format correctly, which brings me to…
    3. When not formatted correctly, you must scroll right to view said tables and pictures…but there is no lateral scrolling! WTF?

    Completely worthless app.

    +1 for Wikipanion, the ol’ standby.

  10. That’s why I say that most of the Apps on the App Store are glorified web pages… –peter

    What a ridiculous thing to say! There are 60,000 iPhone apps, including untold numbers of games, music apps, painting and drawing apps, and on and on…

    You really have no idea what you’re talking about.

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