Wikipedia has launched a new update for its iOS application, which takes personalization to a new level. Users are now able to discover content such as articles and images, based on their own interests. Moreover, the app supports 3D Touch on iPhone 6s and 6s Plus and Spotlight Search integrations.

New updates come as the non-profit Wikimedia foundation wants to develop a mobile app for engaged-users, creating something more than an app for fast consults. Every year, Wikipedia generates approximately 648 million page views.

Official Wikipedia app. It’s very fast and provides an option to save pages, which Wikiwand does not. Credit: thesweetsetup

Previous updates allowed offline access and mobile editing. However, the latest version is especially focused on personalization. The app has a new “Explore” feature that displays the top read articles, featured article and featured picture of the day, random articles, nearby articles and recommended articles, says Techcrunch.

According to Wikimedia, the app will put the most emphasis on making suggestions based on user’s tastes. Moreover, it supports multi-touch gestures (tap, swipe, and touch to easily move from article to article) and 3D touch gestures for the latest versions of the Apple’s iPhone. Users are able to open “search” or “continue reading your last article” from the app’s icon on the home screen.

There’s a feature to save articles to read later, which are stored on the phone’s drive, so they can be read offline. The search engines of the app have also been improved since it now supports emoji search and Spotlight search for saved articles.

Tech analysts have suggested that Wikipedia’s app has not been among the most popular for iOS because Wikipedia search is already integrated into the Spotlight’s search motor and most users are generally satisfied with a quick facts check. That being said, developers want to attract those users to engage in a complete experience.

“Beautiful native experience better than the mobile web. Love the auto launch from Safari and the section quick access sidebar. Thanks and excellent job to the product and development teams, worthy of the Wikipedia brand and worth the long wait” wrote a user in the reviews section of the app.

When talking about design of the app, it has been described as “well-designed” and “highly polished” says tech reviewer from Techcrunch, Sarah Perez. Users can already download the app on all iOS devices. The Wikimedia foundation has not provided information about the Android version, but it is expected that a similar app will come to all Android devices in the next months.

Wikipedia is developing the world’s first crowdsourced speech synthesis platform

By 2017 Wikipedia will be talking English, Swedish and Arabic, since it is currently collaborating with the KTH Royal Institute of Technology to develop the world’s first crowdsourced speech synthesis platform.

“The platform will be optimized for Wikipedia but freely available as open source, and readily usable by any site that uses the MediaWiki software on which Wikimedia is based.” Said the KTH institute in a press release published Thursday.

This collaboration wants to impulse ways of accessing Wikipedia and other wikis, especially for people with reading difficulties or visual impairment, says Joakim Gustafson, a professor of speech technology at KTH.

According to statistics carried by Wikipedia, approximately 25 percent of all users of the free encyclopedia (124 million people), need or prefer text in spoken form. English, Swedish, and Arabic will be the first languages supported by the platform, however, Wikipedia has presented the possibility of creating a platform for the 280 remaining languages.

All material produced will be freely licensed for everyone, in accordance with the rules of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Source: Tech Crunch