If I am not searching for something on Google then most likely I am on Wikipedia looking for that same thing whatever it might be. Going online to use this encyclopedia beats viewing through the past traditional books and now what I discovered that’s even better than online is using the new mobile app, Discover-Wikipedia in a Magazine developed by Cooliris, Inc. for only the iPad.
The “Discover” app adds a little more pizazz to Wikipedia by reformatting it into the style of a magazine, meaning stylish backgrounds and layouts plus sharper, more larger photos. This turns out to be better pleasing and enjoyable to the users’ eyes when compared to the original online composition. It’s interesting how this app can bring in an article from Wikipedia and transform it to look like it’s part of a magazine. You will have to have an internet connection to receive the live Wiki content and sometimes there will be a little lag time but it is tolerable nonetheless. For those instances you can’t get or don’t have a connection you will have access to a cache of your entire/recent history for your viewing pleasure.
“Discover” starts the user off in the right foot by providing a short video tutorial on how to use their app and then for those that need a recap there is an info page on the app that is always made available. The apps’ interface is constructed around the basic finger slide and touch functions with some slight variations. For instance, the pinching motion of your fingers does not zoom out of the images rather it brings up the current articles Table Of Contents and the tap and holding down on a word in an article will prompt a Wikipedia hyperlink or a dictionary definition for that particular word or phrase instead of the commonly seen Copy and Paste functions. Another thing to note are that the apps’ features will change somewhat depending on whether your iPad is in either the Landscape or Portrait positions. Having your iPad in the Landscape position will produce a complete search list when using that option, the full selection of related articles and the entire history of your apps’ usage. If kept in this position you sacrifice not having the nice looking format and the larger images seen in the Portrait position but then if you want it all you do is just rotate your iPad 45 degrees.
This app I would say is better than reading a National Geographic magazine for the following reasons. To start, whenever you open up the app it gives you a cover with an Article and Picture of the day but the kicker is if you don’t like that one then just shake your iPad for a new random cover. Next you can use the Search function to find your favorite topics and if you don’t know the correct spelling of the word but get pretty close, chances are the app will find exactly what you are looking for. Lastly, unlike a magazine there are settings on this app which allow you to change whenever you want, things such as the type of font and font size.
The “Discover-Wikipedia in a Magazine” app offers a breathe of fresh air to the stale looking original Wikipedia and the route I will now take to get there is only through this app!