05
Jun
Wikipedia-Thumb

Good things come to those who wait. Android users didn't get an official Wikipedia app until January 2012, and it was a relatively bare bones release at that. Over two years later, it's really starting to show its age, as those Gingerbread screenshots sitting on its Play Store page aren't impressing anyone. But now we see a new version of the Wikipedia Beta app that finally seems poised to give us the native experience we've been waiting for.

Wikipedia1 Wikipedia2 Wikipedia3

That's right, the app has gone native, offering a faster experience and a UI that looks much better on anything released since Ice Cream Sandwich. But wait, this hot rod is sporting more than just a fresh coat of paint and a souped up engine. Now there's a history of your recently viewed articles tucked away in the sidebar. Not only that, you can edit articles without having to sit down at a PC.

The beta is open for anyone to install from the Play Store. So if you're ready to start correcting all of those "mistakes" on that infuriating Wikipedia page, you know what to do.

Source: Wikimedia blog

Thanks, Connor Shea.

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Benjamin S.

    Wikimedia, y u no use Play Store beta system :(

    • Kevin

      How about you start talking like a grown up?

      • Benjamin S.

        Wow.

        • Krista P. Watson

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      • Anthony Wingfield

        Calmate

      • Matthew Fry

        In his defense, it's a meme and therefore generally accepted. Similarly, we cannot stem the tide of redefinitions of words and colloquialisms becoming standard English. We must accept it and adapt to it.

        • DeadSOL

          Cool story, bro.

    • http://blog.yuvisense.net Yuvi Panda

      (Developer of the app here)

      So, we actually do! It's not well publicized, but you can opt into our (even more quicker release) alpha at http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/mobile-l/2014-March/006642.html

      The Beta app was built out a year and a half ago when there was no beta system, and has 40,000 active users. Better to take advantage of that, no? :)

      • Benjamin S.

        Oh! Neat! Yes you sure are right about that :)

        • http://blog.yuvisense.net Yuvi Panda

          :D Do opt in and send us feedback! (Feedback link in about page)

      • Dheeraj Chowdary Nekkanti

        I get the message: "There is no group named wpandroidapptesters". :(

        • http://blog.yuvisense.net Yuvi Panda

          Can you remove the . at the end of the group URL and try?

          • Dheeraj Chowdary Nekkanti

            Oh wow. I should've figured that out. Sorry to have bothered you. :) It works.

      •   

        Do you guys have any plan to redesign the Wiktionary app too?
        I hope you do. That's one of my favorite "dictionary"

      • http://www.LOVEanon.org/ Michael Oghia (Ogie)

        Hi Yuvi, thanks for your work :) Just a quick question. Will Wikipedia Beta (after some time and testing) actually replace the Wikipedia app that is in the Play Store currently? Or will they stay stand alone apps?

      • Matthew Fry

        I'm in! I hope I'll be of some help.

  • Larry Simpson

    I wish they'd bring back the dark theme

  • Matt

    It also *finally* gives you the ability to view the article in another language from within the app. That's super handy when you're trying to translate something that isn't readily apparent by just using Google Translate (e.g., a political figure, obscure bird or tree species, or historical event). Looks like I can finally stop using the mobile site for that purpose.

    • http://blog.yuvisense.net Yuvi Panda

      That feature was also available in the old app (Menu button -> Read In). Not very discoverable, of course.

      (App developer here)

      • Matt

        Whoops I must have missed that completely. Definitely more discoverable now, though:)

  • duke69111

    The ability to edit from a phone seems like a horrible idea. I wonder how long it will take for the quality of the articles to show auto correct errors all over the place.

    • Matthew Fry

      The type of people that make edits are the type of people that don't make autocorrect errors. I, personally, only make grammar edits. It's the only thing I feel confident enough about to change Internet-wide :)

    • http://blog.yuvisense.net Yuvi Panda

      There have been plenty of people editing from the Mobile Website for almost a year now :)

      (Developer of the app here)

  • Gregor Smith

    Funny, I recent just ditched the official app (last updated October 29, 2013) since it was buggy as hell on KitKat and ended up just using the mobile site as an immersive web app.

    Updates automagically

    • http://blog.yuvisense.net Yuvi Panda

      We've been working on the new version for about 6 months now :)

      (Developer of the app here)

      • Curtis

        I gave it a try but it had the same problem i had with the original.

        I look up old tv shows a lot and the app doesn't seem able to handle the tables in the episode lists at all. barely showing half.

        • http://blog.yuvisense.net Yuvi Panda

          You should be able to scroll them to the right this time.

          • Gregor Smith

            Is it missing the Portals at the bottom?

  • יואב שטרנברג

    Damn, Why ugly black NavigationDrawer?

  • Tom

    The sections icon on the top right could really use a higher res icon...otherwise its ok

    • http://blog.yuvisense.net Yuvi Panda

      We are working on a new set of Icons that should ship in a week or so.

      (App developer here)

  • SebastianHelset

    #HOLOYOLO

  • Qbancelli

    This is huge for me.

  • mike__ch

    I guess it's nice that they still care about their official app, but I already switched to EveryWiki a long time ago.

    • DirkBelig

      I used to use WikiDroid until the official Wikipedia app came out, but after it crashing on launch every. single. time. if not two or three times, I switched back. WikiDroid never responds to my launch command with a message that it had to shut down.

  • ltredbeard

    Hopefully this will fix the fact I can't open the app without it force closing (3 different devices).

  • abobobilly

    Slideout Navigation Bar.

    FUCK YES.

    Love it when these apps follow Android guidelines. (ironically Google has been going away from it, sad and unfortunate)

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