Wikipedia is a treasure trove of information, one that’s available freely and on any platform or device. It’s perhaps the most popular reference tool amongst students, educators, hobby readers and the average Joe. Usually, though, you need access to the internet to be able to access the volumes of data hosted on Wikipedia. But not anymore! There’s a fairly new Android app that downloads Wikipedia to your handset for offline use anytime anywhere. It’s totally free and available on the Play Store.
In addition to Wikipedia, this handy app can also help port content from other major platforms (e.g. Ubuntu documentation, WikiLeaks, etc) to your Android smartphone or tablet. All you need to do is download the content file (in this case Wikipedia), and you’ll not need to get online to browse through all the entries. You’ll need to have a good Wi-Fi connection to sail through downloading the content, but after that, your phone or tab will basically evolve into a pocket library.
Since Wikipedia has millions of articles on varied subjects, the download size can be expected to be very large. So make sure that you have ample storage space on your gadget. You should also be willing to give it some time to finish with the download. I recommend that you do it at night as you retire to bed. You should be set up when you wake up the next morning.
In the case that you aren’t able to accommodate the massive space, either due to storage space or internet capacity limitations, you may opt to leave out the images. That means you only download the text-based content. This has the potential to make the whole process quite fast if you don’t enjoy the privilege of a blazing fast internet connection.
But who would require an offline Wikipedia?
If you’re mostly set up with a good working internet connection all day, and the prospect of an hours-long connectivity blackout sounds like fiction to you, this app might not make a lot of sense. But for individuals (mostly from third-world) who have a troublesome relationship with the internet, this can be an incredible knowledge tool.
If you’re also planning to travel to a location where the internet is not in plentiful supply, you might want to have this knowledge pool installed to your device. It just could help you understand a few things about the climate and demographics of the region that you’re in. But that’s not where it stops, in addition to WikiPedia, Kiwix has a lot of potential. The app essentially supports multiple other projects from the Wikimedia Foundation ( the organization behind WikiPedia), all of which can be downloaded and accessed offline as well. Other versions of the app are available on Windows, Linux, and Mac.
Image Source: WikiPedia
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