Using the iPhone and iPad as a tool to quickly lookup something (often to settle a bet!) is an often under-appreciated and useful feature (it's even the biggest folder on our homescreen for some of us!). While one can argue that a Wikipedia app or just using the browser is sufficient for looking up everything, a dedicated and specific reference app can't be beat in its category. So this week lists our favorite four reference apps.
This app (which is surprisingly the #7 top paid iPhone reference app) is the ultimate companion for a bartender. iBartender is a simple enough app to explain, it’s one of those books that can be found behind a bar listing all kinds of alcoholic drinks no one knew existed. iBartender trumps all of those bar books with an easily browsable encyclopedia of drinks, a search feature, and the ability to save specific drinks as favorites. This app is a must-have for anyone, not just bartenders, looking to find and try out new drinks.
It would be a horrible list of reference apps without a good Wikipedia app. While some of the best reference apps are dedicated to specific topics, Wikipanion is the goto app for all other topics and therefore a must-have for anyone who frequently uses Wikipedia. While it’s nothing complicated, Wikipanion provides a clean, quick-loading interface for Wikipedia on the iPhone and iPad.
Qwiki (iPad only)
Qwiki is definitely the most unique reference app in the App Store. Qwiki pulls information, pictures, and videos from various sources to create a multimedia experience for almost any topic imaginable. Qwiki might not be optimal to quickly look anything up, but it's definitely fun to browse the popular and daily Qwikis. It’s an awesome app to play around with and learn something in the process.
The IMDB app is a clean and well-made app that provides an iOS experience for the popular movie database, IMDB.com. Get into an argument about a specific actor/actress in a specific movie or TV show? Whip out the iPhone and look it up on IMDB. The IMDB app is a great companion app to play around with while watching TV.