When it comes to accessing Wikipedia on your iPhone, there’s no shortage of options. This week, a new app entered the arena dubbed Articles, and for users who value a solid interface and pleasant viewing experience, it’s an excellent choice.
The app, which is $2.99 in the App Store, features some innovative features, like viewing articles based on your location, a really great photo viewer (complete with the ability to either copy photos or save them to your camera roll), and a multi-page interface that works the same way as Mobile Safari.
The app also features a pull-down menu, a la Tweetie 2, that can set the device’s orientation — perfect for those that want to view Wikipedia articles while in bed or on their side.
You can search both article titles and content, bookmark your favorite articles in folders of your choice, and even view an article at random by shaking the device.
The presentation of the app really takes things to another level: text is clear, readable and beautifully arranged. By double-tapping and dragging on the device, you can easily scroll between sections. Furthermore, clicking on an info box quickly enlarges that section.
We do have a few niggles with the app, however. First, as nice as the double-tap and drag feature is for moving between sections, it’s not a replacement for a table of contents that apps like Wikipanion feature. Second, while reference information appears when you do searches, references aren’t listed in article pages. For normal reading, that’s fine, and it makes the app clean; however, if you want to know about the source of a certain fact, you can’t view it inside the app itself.
Those deficits pale, though, when compared to the overall presentation of the app. One of my favorite features is that you can tap and hold on an intra-wiki link and open up the link in a new page — just like in Safari. I also like how text can be magnified or made smaller by using pinch zoom.
If you’re looking for a way to access Wikipedia and you want the best looking experience possible, give Articles a shot. It has been localized in Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish — so it’s a good option for multi-lingual iPhone users too.
What is your favorite way to access Wikipedia on the iPhone? Let us know!