Wikipedia for Android is available for free now in the Android Market. The app lets users search for articles, read them offline and share them with other users.
quietly made its official Android application available free
in the Android
Market for anyone using smartphones or tablets running Android 2.2 Froyo and
newer OS versions.
can access Wikipedia's 20 million-plus articles in more than 280 languages.
Users may search for articles, both in full and partial screens and by
location, thanks to the phone's GPS.
can also save articles to read later or while offline. Users may also share
articles they like with friends using Android's "share" function and
click one button to translate an article into some 40 languages.
People seem to
like the application, which has a 4.4-star rating on the Android Market. Out of
some 805 users who have rated this application as of this writing, 533 of them
awarded Wikipedia for Android five stars, compared with only 19 people who gave
the application one star.
One of the
knocks on the application is that GPS for the search-nearby-article function
keeps running in the background even after users exit Wikipedia. One Sony
Xperia smartphone user complained the application "saturates" the
phone's processor. Still others prefer Wikipedia integrate with Google's search
Android has been live since Jan. 13. However, buzz about the application has
been buried by the online encyclopedia's zealous opposition to the Stop Online
Piracy Act (SOPA).
Wikipedia opposed the antipiracy law
, which many
Internet companies believe would cripple the Web and hurt users, by blacking
out its Website worldwide for 24 hours Jan. 18. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Facebook, Reddit, Wordpress, Twitter
and others also opposed SOPA
Wikipedia for Android was one of the ways users could access the Website's
content without seeing the blackout block Wikipedia threw up for desktop