Viki provides a fresher, softer, and more useful approach to viewing Wikipedia content
Price: $1.99 / £1.49
Size: 10.9 MB
Platform: iPhone and iPad
The title and premise is simple. An app for reading Wikipedia. But nice. Is this a lack of modesty? We’d say no – Wikipedia is one of the most used websites in the world, and though the not-for-profit site is a great resource, its accompanying app isn’t the most user-friendly.
So, what are we looking at here – just a new design? Yes and no. The app focuses on a new approach to typography on Wikipedia. It’s approach includes a different color scheme that revolves around a softer light orange and grey, while the font itself is also less harsh and comes in serif. There’s also better spacing, and less of those often annoying ‘tap to expand’ sections. Everything’s laid out in a readable format. Even tables, which the Wikipedia app automatically zooms so that the font is the same size as everything else, pushing much of the table off the side of the screen, is automatically zoomed out in Viki, allowing a faster quick-glance at information.
It’s these little tweaks that makes Viki a more pleasant experience than the official Wikipedia app.
But what else is different? Well, there’s also a new approach to content discovery. It’s no longer just about the ‘Wikipedia Rabbit Hole’ where you keep tapping links through various pages; Viki has a richer content-discovery by location feature. The location search can be found in the search segment of the app – where there are three tabs showing your search history, bookmarks and nearby. This’ll show you what’s around you, which the Wikipedia app does, but Viki also allows you to easily move around the map or search for a location. Nearby locations that have a Wikipedia article are then highlighted on the map, with colored ribbons leading to a side-scrollable list of articles along the bottom of the screen. It’s really great for good, fairly reliable (after all it is Wikipedia) information when you’re planning a trip.
In terms of usability, Viki works as well as Wiki, if not better. It uses swipe gestures to allow you to swipe back to a previous page, but then you can swipe the other way to go back to where you were. With Wikipedia, it only lets you tap a back button to go back to previous pages. Once you’re used to Viki’s functionality it’s a great way of browsing Wikipedia.
All in, Viki is a great Wikipedia viewer that feels fluid, stable and well-designed. It also includes support for 3D Touch quick launch actions and is compatible with the Apple Watch. If you’re not impressed by Wikipedia’s own offering we’d recommend giving Viki a go.