Wikipedia today announced a redesigned version of its Android app that not only lets you quickly check facts and verify details, but also recommends you content to read on the go. You can download the new version now from Google Play.
First and foremost, the Wikimedia Mobile Apps team has redesigned the home screen of the app. Front and center is the new Explore feed — which was added to Wikipedia for iOS in March — that shows recommended images, news content, articles based on what you’ve read, and so on.
If today’s content doesn’t interest you, simply scroll further down in the feed. You will see featured content from previous days that can might still be interesting — remember that Wikipedia isn’t just about news. If you don’t want to see a certain card, just swipe it away to hide it.
Here are all the feed’s sections:
- In the news: Current international news stories, with links to the Wikipedia articles relevant to each story (limited only to English Wikipedia for now).
- Trending articles: The top five most read articles of the day.
- Featured picture: A bold image selected every day by the Wikipedia editor community.
- Featured article: A featured article on Wikipedia picked daily by editors (limited only to English Wikipedia for now).
- Because you read: Recommended articles based on what you’ve read lately on Wikipedia.
- Continue reading: An option to continue reading articles that you started, but haven’t finished reading yet.
- Today on Wikipedia: A route to the Main Page of the Wikipedia of your preferred language.
- Randomizer: A random Wikipedia article.
- A more prominent Search bar at the top of the feed, with integrated voice search.
The last point is worth underlining because it can stand on its own, feed or no feed. While most people still don’t bother with voice search, the quality and accuracy is drastically improving, making it invaluable for some when they’re on the go.
Wikipedia has also built-in sharing: For each feature in the feed, you can share the article in question using your favorite social media apps or save the article on a personal reading list. Best of all, if you save it, you can read the content even when you’re offline.
The Explore feed is a massive investment from Wikimedia. The company has built the back-end service that provides the content, and also plans to make it available to anyone else interested in leveraging it. The Android app is just the first use case.
The data provided by the Explore feed service is structured in a simple format that can be used by other apps and web applications. A single web request can retrieve all the content shown in the feed. If you’re a developer, you’ll want to check out the Wikimedia REST API.