Wikipedia lately rolled out a revamped iOS app that lets users quickly tap into relevant information, regardless if they're looking for images or articles.
What is more, the app got buffed with features that play nice with Apple's latest OS version and can take full advantage of the Spotlight Search and 3D touch technologies.
The new features aim to offer a wider palette of reasons for users to enjoy the app, not just for standard fact-checking.
It is not the first time that Wikipedia expands its scope and improves itself, either.
In December last year, the main Wikipedia website improved itself via machine learning. In order to curb incorrect edits or fake information from appearing in articles, the page utilizes machine learning software that can differentiate between an honest mistake and Internet vandalism.
Utilitarian features such as mobile editing and offline access were implemented in the iOS app some time ago. Some social aggregation was attempted no sooner than last year, via shareable "fact cards." Due to its unimpressive trail record, the feature was subdued.
In its latest Wikipedia app for iOS, the company now focuses a lot on discovering intriguing information and personalization.
Meet the "Explore" feed, a feature that combines top read articles, featured picture of the day, featured stories, random bits of trivia, and connected articles. Additionally, the "Explore" function learns from your previous Wikipedia experience and suggests entries that might interest you. This means that the app will constantly recommend new articles from your main topics of interest.
Owners of iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will be able to use multi-touch gestures via the 3D Touch technology of their displays. Specifically, they will be able to open search, read a random article, consult other articles or resume reading the latest.
Handoff is one neat iOS-specific feature that comes bundled in the latest Wikipedia iOS app. With it, users can switch between Mac, iPhone and iPad to resume reading an article. Sharing Wiki pages via social networks and email was never easier. One new feature makes sure you can save articles for later study, and they also remain available offline.
Wikipedia for iOS used to be among the top 20 apps of the App Store, but recently it got downgraded to the 30's. This is disappointing news, considering the popularity and brand awareness of the Wikipedia page. We are curious to see whether or not the new additions to the app will pull the user-curated information page from the hole it fell in.
The main problem with Wikipedia is the public perception. People seldom want to explore the page and prefer to simply use it to confirm or learn more about particular information.
It should be noted that the web content of the page appears in Apple's Spotlight Search ever since iOS 8 and it seems that regular users are content with that. The fact that Wikipedia added an "Explore" feed could turn the tide in its favor, but only time will tell whether the upgrade will engage more users.
You may download the latest Wikipedia app for iOS from Apple's iTunes app store, free of charge. The app was revamped in visual terms as well, making it more user friendly and appealing to the eyes.