Using an application to browse through Wikipedia's directory seems a little bit of a pointless idea at first, especially when browsers can handle this task fine. But what Wikibot manages to do is bring all of Wikipedia's information, and display it to you, clutter free, with some great personalization features. Wikipedia itself can be rather daunting at times when you are not quite sure where to find the information you are looking for. Wikibot attempts to make that process a lot simpler, by only displaying the information that matters, with customizable display options, tabbed browsing, language switching, a read-later queue and offline caching, making it a great way to experience Wikipedia and the abundance of information that it holds. Bear in mind when reading this review that there are two similar applications on the Mac App Store, Wikibot and Wiki Offline, for which the difference will be explained later in the review.

Interface

The way in which Wikibot displays the information from Wikipedia looks great, so in effect, Wikibot is a browser built specifically for viewing Wikipedia and all of its articles. The simple, clean interface looks somewhat similar to Safari, but with the search feature, instead of being tucked away, making a prominent stand in the center as it forms a key part in the way many user find information on Wikipedia. There is a splash of color for the navigation arrows, which let you go to your previously viewed article, or the next one. There is also an option to click on the dice in the top right corner which will take you a random Wikipedia article, quite a fun twist, and may lead to learning about something you never knew existed, quite exciting really! The graphics make you feel right at home with a feel similar to that of Safari On the left there is something similar to the file browsing system in Finder, apart from this time, it holds the contents for the longer articles that you read, some language options and a category view. It would be great if this area could also be used for your favourites or saved articles as well though. There is a tabbed browsing system, again, much like the one seen in Safari. This allows you to have multiple articles and references open at once, as well as being able to quickly switch from one to another at the click of a button. The suggested search results display below the search box when typing Another great feature on the interface side, is the customizable viewing option. There is a choice of font size, the font type, the margins, the color scheme, and even the brightness of the articles.

Favourites

One bonus of sing Wikibot, instead of using Safari to save a bookmark and then loosing the bookmarked Wikipedia page among hundreds of others, is that it allows you to save your favorite articles and then come back to them whenever you want. This works surprisingly well, as the page can also be cached and then is also available for viewing when you are struggling to find internet connection . Save your favourite articles for later reading As well as these features, there is the option to add the article to your read later queue. You might see some great information, but simply don't have time to read it now, or you are currently reading something else and would like to finish that first. This is the point at which the article should be added to your "Read-It-Later" queue, so Wikibot will automatically download the article so that you can read it later, even without internet connection.

Images

Wikipedia in all honesty handles the viewing of images pretty poorly. With Wikibot, there is a preview window with a grid layout of all images in that post. From there you can then make them fullscreen with the quick view feature supported by the application. You can also view all the images fullscreen with just one click

Those Bonus Features

However, if you are looking for that extra functionality, I suggest taking a look at Wiki Offline, which has all of the great features of Wikibot, but also allows you to download the whole of Wikipedia, yes ... all of it ! The download is around 3GB for the English version and every single post will be available to you at all times.

Conclusion

Both Wikibot and Wiki Offline are great apps to work with and have at your fingertips as a reference. Combining a great interface and a great system for saving articles to read later and record your favourite ones, these applications offer a brilliant way to discover content on Wikipedia.