Help:Mobile access

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

Official mobile access[edit]

Mobile version of the site[edit]

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[edit]

WAP-only browsers

Are no longer supported

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[edit]

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

iOS[edit]

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.

Android[edit]

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.

Windows[edit]

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

Regular (desktop) site[edit]

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[edit]

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.

Pediaphon[edit]

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.

Applications[edit]

Official apps[edit]

These are, of course, free:

iPhone applications[edit]

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[edit]

Wiktionary[edit]

BlackBerry applications[edit]

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

Multiplatform applications[edit]

WikiPock[edit]

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.

Evopedia[edit]

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.

E-readers[edit]

Amazon Kindle[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

Team pages:

Release history

Releases

Stable releases by operating system:

Source code, developer access, making contributions

For other platforms replace "android" by iOS, win8 or other platform name, or see below for full list of apps

Feedback/bugs/issues:

  • Email address: mobile-android-wikipedia@wikimedia.org

See also[edit]

Information icon.svg Help desk

References[edit]