Waving your phone out in front of your face to see what used to happen on the streets around you is all very useful. Except it isn't.
So, for those who want an app of a more serious nature and one that'll actually enrich your life and expand your brain, then it's about time you got yourself a decent way of browsing the vast store of factual information that is Wikipedia in a way that's suitable for the small screen. If you're on Android, then you'll be after...
- Android Market
There are a lot of Wikipedia apps on Google's mobile platform. The obvious reason to go for this one is because it has the word "droid" in its name, so you feel like you're doing your bit for the community somehow. But beyond that, it also happens to be the best one.
A lot of people will tell you that Quickpedia is the way to go but, in our tests, it consistently didn't work on the Nexus One. Quickipedia might have been having a bad 20 minutes at the time but that's not going to cut much ice in the middle of the lucky dip round of a pub quiz, now is it?
Reasons, apart from the fact that it works, to go for Wikidroid are that it very neatly displays the info you're after and better than any other Wikipedia apps we've seen. It maintains the feeling of the actual Wikipedia site while presenting it in an uncluttered fashion. It collapses all the sub headers for you to tap on and expand at will and squashes each article into one long column that's actually much easier to digest and flick through than it sounds. You'll have to suck it and see.
It'll present the text in any one of 65 languages, it supports voice search, offers random articles and you can even share any good ones over SMS, e-mail or any one of the social apps that you have installed. The only thing it doesn't do is serve all this up offline. For that, you'll have to fork out $14.99 for Wikipock Plus Edition. All in all though, Wikidroid is a rather good educational egg of an app, and you can't ask for much more than that. Well, apart from fun.