Ever since Apple’s App Store launched, we have been waiting for a free app to view Wikipedia articles. Up until today, the only Wikipedia application for the iPhone that we knew of was called iWik, but you had to pay for it. Today Wikipanion launches, it’s nearly perfect, and it’s free.
Wikipanion auto completes as you type which means that you may not have to type out the full search term of what you are looking for. One of the things we like about Wikipedia is that there is a table of contents which makes finding the specific information you’re looking for a little easier. Wikipanion incorporates the table of contents and you’ll find it by tapping the bookmark button at the bottom of the screen (shown in the image below).
Another nice feature is that you can click the button with the arrow at the bottom of the screen, and you’ll be shown a list of the links that are found within the article. It also works in landscape mode, and you can navigate forward and back. The paid application doesn’t even offer this type of navigation.
One feature that we’re not too fond of is the super large text. It may be nice for some people because it’s easier to read, but there needs to be an option to scale the text down or zoom out. On the bright side, everything loads fast which makes viewing Wikipedia articles on the iPhone easy to do, and the photos are an appropriate size as well.
Just remember that you can tap at the top of the screen (by the time) if you want to quickly navigate to the beginning of an article. You may need this feature if you are viewing some of the longer articles.
Get Wikipanion here (iTunes link)