Features & Use
-HTC Desire with 2.3.7 (Root and Custom ROM)
-Acer Iconia A500 with 3.2
Whoa, what do you mean, download all of Wikipedia and save it locally? It sounds crazy, but it’s true: minus the images, all of Wikipedia (over 1.300.000 articles to date) is only 2,24 GB, meaning it can easily fit on the SD card.
The first time you open WikiDroyd a pop-up appears telling you that you haven’t get downloaded the data base and should do so now. Hit OK; you will then see a selection of Wikipedia data bases in different languages. I choose to download the English version, and I choose to have it download to my computer (it’s either that or have it download to the Android device itself), and then pull it on to my device’s SD card. The app then recognises the available Wikis, which are located in the WikiDroyd folder.
The app’s main page yields one of the most important functions, namely the search function. As soon as you enter a few letters the app starts spewing forth suggestions, from which you can select the term you want to look up, should it be among the suggestions (it usually is).
More neat functions: articles can be displayed randomly – a great way to learn something new – and there’s a button that links to the online version of Wikipedia.
The articles look pretty much the same as what you will be used to if you’ve ever read an online Wikipedia article. Oh, the comfort of familiarity! The menu yields a few more useful functions: there’s another ‘Online Article’ option, a text search option, and an option to add article to the ‘Favourites’. Hit ‘Home’ at any time to return to the main page, or view your search history.
There’s also an option that lets you manage the data bases, and another one that lets you add more books (i.e. Wikipedia in more languages).
Go to settings to make changes to the font size, missing links, the number of random articles or the way in which search results are displayed and sorted. You can even change where the data is saved to.
WikiDroyd is amazing, especially for those (admittedly few) Android users who don’t have a flatrate plan. Like most Android users out there, I do have a flatrate plan, but I use WikiDroyd nonetheless, because I find it comes in handy whenever there’s no internet connection.
The application functions more or less in the same way as the online website, plus it has a few extra functions (I especially like that favourite articles can be bookmarked).
Drawbacks: the data base is 2,24 GB, and the app does not download images. Missing pictures can nevertheless be uploaded via the ‘Online Article’ function whenever you are connected to the internet.
Screen & Controls
Using WikiDroyd is easy, seeing as articles are displayed in the same way as on the website. They can also be enlarged using pinch-to-zoom. Searching for articles is made super easy with the app’s functions (such as the display search history function).
The app’s design is perfectly fine and looked good on both the Desire and the Acer Iconia on which I tested WikiDroyd.
Speed & Stability
WikiDroyd runs very smoothly indeed: search suggestions pop up within seconds and articles are displayed within 2 seconds (that’s faster than on the website itself!).
WikiDroyd did not lag or crash during the test run.
WikiDroyd can be downloaded for free but with ad banners from the Android Market. That said, the ad banners are displayed on the homepage alone, and thus didn’t prove to be a nuisance whatsoever.