Encyclopedia - entire Wiki in your iDevice - Anyone tried it?

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by hkiphone, May 2, 2009.

  1. hkiphone

    hkiphone Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2008
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    Noticed on AppSniper that this app by "Steam Heavy Industries" has a price drop from $9.99 to $5.99. For a mere 2GB of storage space usage, it promises to hold the entire Wikipedia universe on your iPhone or iPod Touch for use offline.

    Has anyone used it? How does it update it self with the latest additions/edits to Wiki? And does it cause a massive delay to the sync/backup process when connected to iTunes?

    I'm very interested in this, but wonder if anyone else has thoughts or experiences on this to share?
     
  2. starjimstar

    starjimstar Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2008
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    I would love something like this for Google Maps. Or if licensing is a problem, Open Street Maps would suffice. It is just a shame to have a perfectly good GPS device when you are out of town; all the while it's use is limited by outrageous roaming charges.
     
  3. starjimstar

    starjimstar Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2008
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    So, I ended up buying this. App Store reviews are mostly glowing. There are a few who have mentioned some search quirks. I have to download the database before using it. That should take another... wow; 10 hours. I will share my impressions when that is finished.
     
  4. gekkota

    gekkota Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2008
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    #4 gekkota, May 2, 2009
    Last edited: May 2, 2009
    I'll be looking forward to your impressions, as I have thought about buying this, too. My main hesitation is that 2GB is an awful big chunk of my 16GB Touch...
     
  5. MaxPower

    MaxPower Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2009
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    Definitely looks interesting, but I'd have a hard time parting with that 2gb of storage.
     
  6. hkiphone

    hkiphone Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2008
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    Hi Starjimstar, really appreciate you trying it and look forwrd to your review of it.
    Do you haveto keep the iPhone app running all through that estimated 10hr download??? I would have thought it'd be easier to download that compressed 2GB database seperately and the transfer via wifi from desktop to the app.
    I currently only have 8GB 2G iPhone so it's a massive sacrifice for now but I'm hoping that I might be able to buy a next-gen iPhone with more disk space later this year.
     
  7. starjimstar

    starjimstar Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2008
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    Hi
    What I know so far is that it is recommended to keep the device plugged in during the database download. I don't need to leave it running for 10 (give or take) hours in one go. I actually stopped the transfer earlier so I could take my phone with me for my bike ride. I resumed the transfer when I got home. There are no apparent problems. A part of me is dreading the possibility of a corrupt file when all is said and done, but I will cross that bridge if I come to it.

    I hear ya about 2GB of storage space. I have the 16GB iPhone and 2GB is a significant chunk. I actually needed to clear some space beforehand. I am unsure if I will be able to keep Wikipedia on my device. It sure is a neat idea, though. Maybe if the new models are enticing enough, I will upgrade myself and give my current phone to my partner.

    And last, I was thinking the same thing: that is; downloading the database (found here) to my mac and then doing a local Wi-Fi transfer. I would be more likely to update the database regularly if it was easier. I have not written the dev with that suggestion, though I intend to. I just want to actually try everything out first.

    Well, it is late and I am going to bed. I hope to report a complete transfer by the morning.

    Night y'all
     
  8. starjimstar

    starjimstar Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2008
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    Alright. That took forever. Here we go.

    The first problem I noticed was that the transfer stops sometimes. Quitting and relaunching fixes the problem (if you can call that a fix.) I experienced that a few times during the download process. [See pictures 1 & 2]

    I wanted to confirm search limitations some other users had mentioned in their reviews. Pictures 3 & 4 should give you an idea what I mean by this.

    The worst part is illustrated by picture 5 & 6. I was expecting the database to be out of date by maybe a few days. While picture 6 is my idea of a joke, picture 5 is a serious concern: this thing actually doesn't know that Barack Obama has become the US President. And to top it off, I don't see an update button. I guess updating the database requires a reinstall. Ugh.

    It is a neat idea and I am glad to have tried it out. I think I want my 2GB back now.
     

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  9. soup

    soup Well-Known Member

    Feb 5, 2009
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    yep agree with the above review

    its a nice idea and if you are often without network connectivity it is a good thing !
    It should update every 3 months approx because thats how often wiki updates its offline versions - but not seeing an update button does make one wonder.....one should aks the dev !

    also what always makes me a bit sceptical although i have experienced no bugs is that it was released in aug 2008 and it is still now version 1.0 ie no updates EVER !

    but if you lack network connectivity and want an encyclopedia its worth getting !

    Would should also say fairly that most excylopedias are only updated yearly at the most, and also its wikipedia so don't always expect 100% accurate impartial information !
    Therefore it costs 4.99(or is it 5.99) and not 30 or 40 dollars
     
  10. hkiphone

    hkiphone Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2008
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    big thanks for the reviews!

    Thank you to Starjimstar and Soup for your thoughts and reviews!
    You have confirmed what I thought would be a big issue: how often it updates, and answer seems to be "not at all!"
    That's a real shame... Anyway, thanks again to you both!
     
  11. brendons

    brendons Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2009
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    i love how it says on the itunes page 0.1 MB

    i was like WOAH :eek:

    and then i saw the pictures above ^


    this is KINDA cool

    i'm going to israel next month for 3 weeks... no internet access where i'll be

    this will be useful for my sightseeing trips :)
     
  12. soup

    soup Well-Known Member

    Feb 5, 2009
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  13. Moatman

    Moatman Member

    Jun 11, 2009
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    I really liked the idea and it sounded like Tiniwiki was a good solution...what they don't tell you is that it requires a 6.9gb download to work offline. Yes, basically between 50-90% of your iphone depending on model.

    What they also don't tell you is that their download servers are awful. I'm on a 20/20 megabite verizon fios fiber connection, I can hit 2.5MB both ways on a good day. I am spiking between 15kb/s to 1MB, hovering on the slow end. It's telling me it'll probably take a week?

    On top of that I had to go out of my way to make space to fit the thing. I submitted a review to warn people of the file size, let's hope they approve it so no one who can't fit it wastes any money.

    What I also don't understand is that Encyclopedia is 2gb yet Tiniwiki claims to have advanced file compression tech and is triple the size(no photos still.) Totally asinine, not sure how it got approved without explaining the file size needed in the description.
     
  14. soup

    soup Well-Known Member

    Feb 5, 2009
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    they do mention 6GB on their website (knew i had read it somewhere) but your right, not having it in the description is nuts.

    hmmmmm.....strange file compression indeed
     
  15. reinhart_menken

    reinhart_menken Well-Known Member

    May 8, 2009
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    Is that even...- he's making money off of the free wikipedia? Lemme guess, when prompt he'll claim to be charging for the software he wrote that utilizes the free resource. That's not right (great, carry around an outdated encyclopedia with you, unless it updates).
     
  16. soup

    soup Well-Known Member

    Feb 5, 2009
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    you haven't quite understood the point....

    when you have no connection or a touch you have an encyclopedia with you and the price is relatively small when you compare it to "real" encyclopedias which are also always as old as there last publication

    oh btw there are at least 10 wikipedia apps
     
  17. reinhart_menken

    reinhart_menken Well-Known Member

    May 8, 2009
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    Didn't know that since I only watch the threads on TA (I'd pose the same suspect question to all of them, just because there are at least 10 doesn't mean it's right, unless wikipedia is getting paid as well). I see your point about having no connection and carrying around an offline encyclopedia though.
     
  18. starjimstar

    starjimstar Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2008
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    The licensing makes it right.

    Please do some research before posting ill-informed comments.
     
  19. brendons

    brendons Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2009
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    when's this app getting updated anyways? -_____-

    more recent information is probably needed by now
     
  20. starjimstar

    starjimstar Well-Known Member

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    #20 starjimstar, Jun 11, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2009
    Can you tell me how well the search function works? Encyclopedia was terrible. For example; 'Spider Man' returned no results. It was necessary to type 'Spider-Man' (hyphenated) in order to find those articles.

    I am not willing to clear 7 GB from my 16 GB phone. Maybe I will try this out when I get a 3G S.

    EDIT: oh, and how current is the archive? Encyclopedia is out of date by at least 6 months. It doesn't even know Obama is the US President yet.
     

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