capsule review

WikiMobile Encyclopedia

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder WikiMobile Encyclopedia

    PCWorld Rating

    This app's presentation is unattractive and inferior to the Wikipedia mobile Web page.

The WikiMobile Encyclopedia, an app designed to view Wikipedia articles, has a cute dog mascot that chases its tail while the program fetches articles. Unfortunately, the dog is the best aspect of WikiMobile.

The app is straightforward enough; the search engine is integrated with Wikipedia. In addition to searching you can view bookmarked articles, see a random article, or look at popular articles. Though I have no idea what might motivate someone to read Wikipedia articles at random, the other two features are somewhat useful. The popular articles are divided into several categories: In the News, Celebrities, Sports and Games, Movies and TV, The Arts & Culture, and Science & Technology.

WikiMobile formats each article into pages that you browse through. I'm not sure of the reasoning for the formatting, however--I prefer to read in the top-down format that most people are used to seeing on Wikipedia. WikiMobile also doesn't provide any information about how many pages an article consists of, so it's difficult to gauge how long a given article is going to be.

One particularly odd design choice: Images are not embedded in the pages. Instead, you must load them up from the menu to browse through them, again in the divided-page format. From the menu you can also load up the Table of Contents, as well as the Quick Facts, the information you typically see in the box at the right side of some Wikipedia articles. In general, the whole process of jumping from page to page to look at information proves cumbersome.

The single most annoying feature of WikiMobile, though, is that it displays the occasional pop-up trying to take you to the Android Market to download other Bonfire Media apps--an obtrusive and obnoxious interruption. Ultimately, this pop-up is what makes the app unattractive.

WikiMobile is yet another app that is less useful for most people than the Wikipedia mobile Website is. If you still prefer to have an app, try a better offering such as Wapedia: 4 Wikipedia & more.

To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    This app's presentation is unattractive and inferior to the Wikipedia mobile Web page.

    Pros

    • Access thousands of Wikipedia articles

    Cons

    • Poor user interface and display layout
Related:
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.