Developer: Sophiestication
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 2.0

iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★½☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½

Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Having Wikipedia access on your iPhone is a great, but potentially overwhelming, resource. Articles takes Wikipedia’s massive database and streamlines it into a more mobile-friendly form. While Wikipedia does have a mobile version, Articles presents an even more streamlined interface, as well as the ability to add bookmarks. It’s almost like an alternative Safari that exists only for the sake of Wikipedia. If you’re a Wikipedia nut, rest assured that there’s an app for this, too.

At the top of Articles’ screen, a search bar lets you search by title or content. Once you find the article you’re looking for, the app displays a clean, streamlined version of its Wikipedia page that fits perfectly to the iPhone’s screen. A discrete button at the top yields access to the table of contents for the article. The bottom of the screen mimics Safari, so you can open multiple “pages” as normal. In the bookmarks screen, there are shortcuts to the familiar Random Article page and famous paintings and artists. Of course, you can add your own bookmarks as well. Everything loads quickly, and the interface is very clean, Apple-style.

Articles does a great job of displaying Wikipedia, but what does it really add? It’s certainly nice to keep your Wikipedia bookmarks separate from your Safari bookmarks, and Articles really places the focus on Wikipedia. However, Articles doesn’t add that many features to Wikipedia’s (free) mobile site, rendering it little more than a skin that wraps Wikipedia up with a shiny bow.

Regardless, if you often look up articles on Wikipedia and are searching for a way to organize that clutter, having a separate app devoted entirely to Wikipedia may well be a good idea. While you won’t be supporting the Wikimedia Foundation, at least you’ll be expressing your undying connection to the Internet’s best encyclopedia. Articles does exactly what it sets out to do: it takes Wikipedia, and organizes the massive site into an iPhone-friendly app. Whether or not it’s a necessary app is another conversation entirely.

Posted in: iPhone Apps and Games, Reviews

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