Wikipedia app released for iPhone

wikiThe non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, owners of Wikipedia, have just launched their very own Wikipedia app on the Apple App Store for iPhone users. Although there are already third-party wiki apps available through the App Store, Wikipedia Mobile is the first and only one to be sanctioned by the foundation.

Wikimedia freely admit that many of the existing apps already do a superlative job, and many of them provide more functionality than their own app which was released yesterday. However, they state that their aim with their own app was to provide speed and simplicity rather than extensive features. This is at least the case for the initial version, although Wikimedia say they are open to new ideas and are willing to implement ideas put forward by users and the general public.

Wikimedia hope that their new app will make searching for information on a phone a great deal easier compared to trawling the internet trying to dig out the details. Wikimedia Mobile users will be able to search through over 3 million entries that have been added to the highly popular Wikipedia website over the years. The app will also have the benefit of saving search history so that entries can be quickly called up at a later date.

Wikipedia has seen a surge in popularity over the past several years and has for many people become their first place of reference when digging out info. The reason for its massive growth is due to its strength, which is also its weakness. Because anyone is free to add or amend entries Wikipedia has quickly grown into a reference source of gargantuan proportions in the space of a few years, but because of this openness it is also prone to inaccuracy and vandalism.

With over 1.5 billion apps downloaded from the Apple App Store since its inception, Wikimedia are confident that they can transfer their internet popularity to the world of mobile phones.

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