What makes an application great? I would say that if an app makes it easier (and in some cases more fun) to access a programme rather than, say, going via the browser and simply looking at the programme that way, then the app is pretty great.
The online collaborative encyclopedia Wikipedia gets a tremendous amount of hits per day. In fact, it’s one of the most popular online encyclopedias out there. Wikidroid for Wikipedia promises to help you use Wikiedia when you’re on the move. Let’s find out whether the app trumps simply accessing Wikipedia via the browser.
First impressions: Wikidroid for Wikipedia doesn’t look like it has that much more to offer than the mobile variant of Wikipedia. What it does is display the mobile website and spices things up with a few comfort-of-use-factor-functions (more details in the next category).
Wikidroid scores as far as functionality goes: it does all the standard functions such as copy & paste, export bookmarks, change language settings as well as a few more subtle details such as mask the message notification bar.
Pages/articles can be bookmarked, but what sets Wikidroid apart is the possibility to save a free copy of the article to the SD card (meaning you can consult articles even when you aren’t connected to the internet). This may not be the best invention since sliced bread, but I have found the function to be quite useful.
…But that’s all there is to say about the different functions. I mean, the mobile version of Wikipedia provides the same functions, even saving stuff to the SD card is possible (using Read it Later). Hence, the dreaded question arises: do I need this app on my Android? The answer: granted, the app doesn’t shower you with heaps of functions and the design won’t wow you either,but the big advantage is how tidy the app can help you keep things. Things can get messy if you’ve got dozens of wiki articles bookmarked or Read it Later is overflowing with texts.
The question is whether you’re happy to install and app that affords you a nice tidy overview and not much else, because, as mentioned, Wikidroid is missing a few key functions. I would like to be able to access other wikis as well as synchronize.
Bottom line: Wikidroid for Wikipedia is a good app, but it has a few week points. I use it because I like being able to organise my articles and access them without having to tax my connectivity. I’d like to award the app an even better score because I do regard it as one of the top three Wikipedia apps and have found it to be really useful, but I’m trying to remain objective and I do concede that not everyone cares as much about organisation as I do…
Screen & Controls
There’s not much to be said as far as controls go, except that the UI comes across as somewhat nerdy. There’s nothing pretty about it; all major functions can be accessed via the menu button.
Wikidroid for Wikipedia continues in the same minimalist vein in the design department as well. It actually looks a lot like the original website, but pinch-to-zoom or zooming via double click work like a charm.
Speed & Stability
Wikidroid for Wikipedia has been my companion for several months now and it has only crashed twice. Good performance overall.
Wikidroid for Wikipedia can be downloaded for free from the Android Market and the AndroidPIT AppCenter. There’s a small ad banner.