For a lot of us, our smartphone apps are some of the more common ways in which we connect to the internet and services that we use on our smartphones. However, one destination that remains a place we actively tap into our web browsers and such is Wikipedia. The mobile view for Wikipedia has come on leaps and bounds over the years, and now they’re turning their attention to the Android app, which they’ve just updated with a fresh new look, and more of a focus on news, hoping that users will spend more time within the app and thus make the most of what Wikipedia has to offer. As always, this new app is completely free, making the wealth of knowledge that Wikipedia has to offer incredibly good value.
The new look and feel of the Android app channels some of the look you’d be familiar with from Google Now on Android and it looks great. Each section that we’ve come to know and love from Wikipedia is broken up into different cards. There’s the classic Photo of the Day, Article of the Day and more, with “In the News” front and center at the top of the app, just below the search bar. This In the News section gives readers a quick snippet with the key fact and then relevant Wikipedia listings linked below, which users can tap on to read more. This isn’t super in-depth or anything, but it’s the sort of news that a generation familiar with the likes of Twitter will enjoy and it’s a pretty clever way for the developers to keep people reading Wikipedia’s own content, which in turn keeps people invested in what the organization has to offer, and could lead to more people making a donation when the time comes.
For the most part, this is a decent upgrade to the Wikipedia app on Android, and while there are countless other apps on Android that you could argue are much better than this, Wikipedia’s primary goal is to educate and inform in the long run, rather than the short term. This new update blends a little of the former with the latter, and does so to great effect.