Improvements to WikiReader

January 28th, 2011 Tags: , , , ,

I was impressed with the WikiReader when it was first released; a device with the ability to have an offline copy of the majority of Wikipedia loaded onto it, and available to access at any time. Well, the device has got better due to software updates. Now, not only can you get Wikipedia in a much wider choice of languages (about 18 when I last checked), the device has been updated to support other wiki sites too, including WikiQuote, Wiktionary and (just announced) WikiTravel, and you can also have the Project Gutenberg library of books (33,000 odd books!) on the device too.

When the device first shipped in 2009, it was with a 4GB SD Card, although if you are looking at adding multiple languages or the other wiki sites you’ll need an 8GB or 16GB card, and if you want to add Project Gutenberg too then it’s definitely a 16GB card that you’ll need. However, whereas before the update was simply a ZIP download, they have now developed their own update software (available in Windows or Max variants) which allows you to choose what you want to download.

This seems to make the device an ever more useful all round tool for reading up about the world; yes, for many of us we have access to all that data online whilst at home and visiting places, but for longer trips, or trips to more remote places (or even just abroad, given the continuation of high data roaming charges on mobile phones), I think the device has a use.

The device is available (for $99) direct from WikiReader, although I’m hearing they are working to setup a network of country based suppliers, so it’s possible that at some point you’ll be able to order in the UK and avoid customs fees and VAT on the import.  Also, when they launched they stated they would offer free updates online, and apart from the ever increasing memory card size requirements, they have live up to that claim, having released two updates during 2010 plus support for all the new wiki sites.


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