Help:Mobile access

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It is possible to access Wikipedia on mobile devices such as tablet computers, mobile phones and PDAs through several different methods.

Official mobile access

Mobile version of the site

Official Mobile English Wikipedia. Users of supported mobile devices are automatically redirected to the official mobile version of Wikipedia.

This mobile version is available for all languages of Wikipedia. It is actively developed, supported and translated. It supports editing and image uploading; visit any article and you'll see a pencil icon on every section. Anyone, including those who are not logged in, can use the mobile editor. You can also check your watchlist on mobile, add/remove articles from it, and more. If you don't want to use the mobile version, you can find options at the bottom of every page to switch to the desktop version.

Browsing options for older phones

WAP-only browsers

See #Google_Web_Transcoder

Legacy mobile browsers

Legacy mobile browsers that were fairly advanced during their time, such as NetFront (2.3), should be able to browse the Wikipedia Mobile version without too much effort. Depending on a phone's capabilities, it may be advisable to turn images and JavaScript off.

Wikipedia mobile on Opera Mini 5.
Opera Mini

Older featurephones' native browsers commonly have limited functionality and are outdated. If your phone is Java ME-capable, you might consider installing Opera Mini, a Java ME-based Internet browser for mobile phones. Some phones have Opera Mini built-in, and may only require setting the browser up for use. Opera Mini works by sending a request to Opera's servers, which return a compressed and stripped-down page to the phone. Depending on version, Opera Mini is often more functional and up-to-date than the native browser supplied with the phone. Opera Mini has a built-in Wikipedia search facility.

  • Opera Mini website — Various versions are on offer to match the capabilities of a particular phone.
Android 2.3 and older
Wikipedia mobile in 2011 as rendered in stock browser on Android 2.2

For many users stuck with Android 2.3 (and maybe older) on their phones and tablets, the stock Android Browser is the default browser. The browser released with Android 2.3.6 is from September 2011, and is based on WebKit 533.1. This version remains common, even if some device manufacturers may have used a newer browser engine for their distribution of Android 2.3.x.

In early 2015, Wikipedia mobile and its sister sites introduced a redesigned search box at the top of each Wikipedia page, along with search suggestions. The new search box was rendered properly in modern browsers, but for many months, the redesign failed the stock browser on Android 2.3 and earlier, as the search box stayed obscured by another box until about mid-June. After a design update, the search box is again visible and accessible with the older Android Browser, even if search suggestions don't work. Through that time, a workaround has been to use the Wikipedia Android app, or an alternative and more modern browser, such as Firefox for Android, which is still developed and released for Android 2.3.

While search suggestions don't work in the stock Android 2.3 browser, they do in the Wikipedia app and in Firefox. On low-spec mobile phones, Firefox for Android can be less responsive than the well-optimized stock browser or the native Wikipedia app: for example, editing Wiki page code may be slow on Firefox, whereas some complex pages are rendered faster by Firefox than the stock Android Browser.

Comparison of stock browser and Firefox 38 on Android 2.3 showing Wikipedia mobile
Android Browser render a Wikipedia page with minor cosmetic issues
Stock browser. The search box is somewhat narrow, with instruction text cut off.
Firefox 38 showing proper render of Wikipedia page
Firefox 38: The search box is at full width.
Firefox 38, Wikipedia search suggestions
Search suggestions also work in Firefox.

Official application

Technical resources: mailing list and bug lists linked above, apps development team page.

iOS

The official Wikipedia iPhone application

The official iOS application from the Wikimedia Foundation is called "Wikipedia Mobile". It is free, and lets you read and edit articles. It shows links to other language versions and article history, but not watchlist or talk pages.

  • View Wikipedia Mobile on App Store or read the iOS Wikipedia app FAQ

Android

The mobile version of the English Wikipedia's main page

The official Android application from the Wikimedia Foundation is called "Wikipedia". It is free, and lets you read and edit articles. It has no article watch feature.

  • View Wikipedia on Google Play store or read the Android Wikipedia app FAQ

Windows

The official Windows 8 application from the Wikimedia Foundation can be downloaded from Windows Store.

  • View Wikipedia on Windows Store

Regular (desktop) site

If a browser is installed for general use, it can be used to access the general Wikipedia site, also for editing, depending on limitations of the browser. One may want to adapt the user style and preferences to optimize them for the mobile device. For example, navigation popups may or may not be convenient on the mobile device.

Mobile website versions

The official mobile version of Wikipedia is located at http://en.m.wikipedia.org.

Over the years, many users and developers had created their own websites for reading Wikipedia on a variety of mobile devices; most of them are now defunct (as of November 2013), with Wapedia having remained until 4 November 2013 as one of the last non-Wikipedia holdouts to serve WAP-formatted textual Wikipedia content for mobile devices.

Google Web Transcoder

Since Wapedia's closure, several mobile phones with browsers that only accept WAP — and not even basic HTML, and with no way to install any other browsers — have become disadvantaged. These include the earliest Internet-enabled mobile phones with first WAP browsers, such as Ericsson R320 (2000), and later on, unextendable low-end featurephones with WAP-only browsers.

http://google.com/gwt/nGoogle Web Transcoder (GWT) displays a form to enter the URL for the Wikipedia Mobile (or any other) site, and returns pages tailored for the specific browser of a particular phone model. The form also includes a checkbox, which, when checked, disables loading of images. Browsing can be continued throughout the Transcoder interface.

Google Web Transcoder might not work in all WAP-only browsers, as it tends to feed larger pages than some WAP browsers are able to accept because of limitations in software configuration and phone hardware; one such example is Samsung SGH-C170 (2007), which has a WAP deck limit of 4000 bytes.

Pediaphon

A computer-generated audio (speech synthesis) version of all Wikipedia articles is provided by the Pediaphon service. It is usable on- and off-line with common MP3 players, PDAs, cell phones (WAP) and with every phone via voice call. Pediaphon can be used as a location-based service.

  • Pediaphon

Applications

Official apps

These are, of course, free:

  • iPhone
  • Android
  • Windows 8

iPhone applications

Many iPhone applications exist for browsing Wikipedia. Currently, the only ways to edit Wikipedia on an iPhone are to use the official Wikipedia Mobile application or access it via Safari or Google Chrome. The links will open the iTunes Store:

Name Price Can edit? Notes
Wikipedia Mobile Free Yes Official Wikipedia iPhone application
WorldABC Blue — The CIA World FactBook Free No Nations of the world only
Wikipanion Free No
Wikipanion Plus $4.99 No
Wikipedia Offline $8.99 No Specially designed for offline access and late night viewing
Minipedia – Offline Encyclopedia Free No Contains the 100.000 most read articles; multilanguage support: English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish

Android applications

  • See all "Wikipedia" apps in the Google Play store (formerly known as the Android Market)
    • Official Wikipedia Android app
    • EveryWiki for Android
    • Kiwix Offline viewer

Wiktionary

  • Wiktionary
  • QuickDic Offline Dictionary
  • English Dictionary
  • KiwiDict Offline Dictionary

BlackBerry applications

  • WikiPock for BlackBerry
For purchase
  • Wikipanion plus offers advanced searching, saving, and language selection tools

Multiplatform applications

WikiPock

WikiPock for Windows Mobile screenshots

WikiPock is a mobile application that provides offline access to all Wikipedia articles in 22 languages for Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Android and Symbian OS mobile phones. All the articles are stored in the mobile phone's memory.

  • WikiPock main site

Evopedia

Evopedia is a discontinued application that provides offline access to all Wikipedia articles in different languages for Android (Beta), Firefox OS, Linux (Arch, Ubuntu), Maemo, Openmoko, QtMoko and Windows. Math formulas, on-line loading of images, Wiktionary dumps and a geographical article search are supported.

  • Evopedia main site

E-readers

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindles have access to Wikipedia content on the "experimental browser" included in Kindle software. All content is shown in black-and-white (all colored images and graphs are converted).

EPub encyclopaedias

The Wiki-as-Ebook project provides massive encyclopaedias for E-Book-readers created from a large set of Wikipedia articles (commercial; 2013). Colored images are converted to grayscale.

Source code, direct download and other useful resource links

Team pages:

  • https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Apps/Team - Home page for app development team
  • https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_mobile_engineering - Home page for mobile engineering team (generally)

Release history

  • https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Mobile/Release_history - release history

Releases

  • https://releases.wikimedia.org - general releases site
Stable releases by operating system:
  • https://releases.wikimedia.org/mobile/android/wikipedia/stable
  • https://releases.wikimedia.org/mobile/iOS/wiikipedia/stable
  • https://releases.wikimedia.org/mobile/win8/wikipedia/stable

Source code, developer access, making contributions

  • https://github.com/wikimedia/apps-android-wikipedia - github source code mirror (actual code hosted with Gerrit)
For other platforms replace "android" by iOS, win8 or other platform name, or see below for full list of apps
  • https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/How_to_contribute - contributing/developer access
  • https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/#/admin/projects - code review site/list of projects
  • https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/#/admin/projects/?filter=app - list of official apps (including mobile Wikipedia but also others)

Feedback/bugs/issues:

  • Email address: [email protected]

See also

Information icon.svg Help desk

References

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