Back in 2007 I’ve written Wiki2Touch, an offline reader for Wikipedia or other wiki-style article collections. iPhone, now iOS, software. That version was never available in the Apple AppStore. It was only running on jailbroken iOS devices. Basically this program was a background task, running on the iOS device and acted as a web server, serving the articles using the http protocol. So you was able to read the articles using Safari, connecting to the local ip address 127.0.0.1. Here is a screenshot of that version:
Wiki2Touch: Image of the damon based version
The wiki language parser I’ve written is able to parse and convert more or less the complete wiki language used by Wikipedia. This includes templates, usually used to display tables and other fancy content. You miss a lot of information if you omit these tables. AFAIK this is still the only version of an offline Wikipedia reader for iOS devices which is able to do that. Correct me if this isn’t so. Beside that Wiki2Touch can display images, math symbols, it is able to use different languages side by side – including chinese – and some more features.
I’ve stopped development in the first half of 2008.
Now, a couple of years later, I’ve restarted Wiki2Touch development. The new version uses a slightly different approach: It’s not background process anymore, it’s an App for iOS. The wiki server is spawned as a thread of the main process. Hence, Safari isn’t necessary anymore. Here is a picture:
New version of Wiki2Touch: Integrated web view
Searching for and choosing an article isn’t a function of the webpage anymore, it’s integrated into the app with a nice animation when you switch between article view and the search view:
The search is part of the app
And yes, as I’m using my iPad very often, Wiki2Touch is a universal app running on the iPad as well. Much faster (I only have a 3G iPhone) and a different layout:
Wiki2Touch on the iPad
Here is another screenshot with the popover search view visible:
Wiki2Touch on the iPad with search view visible
Don’t ask me when – or if ever – this app is available in the apple AppStore. Right now, there is still a lot left to do:
- Support for multiple languages is currently disabled
- The GUI part of the app has some know memory leaks
- The GUI layout isn’t complete (an example: look at the first screenshot, the article title way to small)
- The wiki language interpreter has some know bugs
- Images name are not stored cases sensitive
- Cache management isn’t existing
- And so on. I’m pretty sure I will find more…
I really don’t want to put something into the AppStore which is not “apple style”: Easy to use, rock solid and nice to look at. I will keep writing here what is going on. If you like it, read it.