April 19, 2024   7:13pm

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A quick trip to Wikipedia may be a good enough reference from your mobile phone, but these handy apps give you more accurate, better-designed and non-data consuming alternatives — from encyclopedias to atlas’ to cooking …

Call us old fashioned, but we can’t live without our hardback printed dictionary. Obviously, for our on-the-fly needs, carrying a heavy book in our bags isn’t really an option, so we turn to our trusty iPhones who don’t have the storage capacity to fit the Encyclopedia Britannica yet (although no doubt iCloud will make this possible one day).

Here are a few apps to get us all by for the time being. They’re courtesy of: The New York Times‘ Bob Tedeschi in “Reference Apps for the Budding Know-it-All.” As he says, “Why would anyone need an app when nearly every bit of reference material is already available from a mobile browser? Two reasons: Money and beauty,” he says.

“If you tend to rely heavily on reference materials for work or school, and you frequently drift outside of free Wi-Fi zones, you can consume a fair amount of data with your browser. And with unlimited data plans quickly disappearing, mobile data charges can be costly. Meanwhile, few mobile Web sites are as user friendly as an app, even when they™re from the same publisher.”

To avoid the eye-sore of reference sites on your browser and save the money you’d spend on data browsing, check out these apps:

1. Britannica Concise Encyclopedia 2011: $20 on Android and Apple.

2. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary: $25 on Android and Apple

3. The World by National Geographic: $4 for the iPad

4. Merriam-Webster Dictionary: Free on Android and Apple

5. WikiMobile Encyclopedia: Free on Android

6. Wikipedia Mobile: Free on Apple

7. Google Earth: Free on Android and Apple.

8. World Atlas by National Geographic: $2 on iPhone

9. DK Publishing’s Quick Cook: $6 on iPad

Now, you never have to say you can’t find something!


“Reference Apps for the Budding Know-it-All,” Bob Tedeschi, The New York Times, Aug 31 2011


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