Ever felt that there’s a better way to search Wikipedia when on a mobile device? I do–it feels like searching for things on Wikipedia when on my mobile device (Droid X) is clunky. There are three options I’ve pursued, but each have their own set of problems:
- Search directly on Wikipedia’s mobile site – No autocomplete/autosuggest! Nowadays, this is basically a must.
- Search through Google – An extra step and one more page load than I want.
- Search through a native application (I used WikiDroid) – I don’t like the separation of my browser (when I usually want to look something up) and a separate app. I need to close my browser, open my app, look up the term, and then switch back to my browser.
So while none of these problems are life-threatening, I felt that there was a better answer out there. Enter my own solution: Mobile Wikipedia Search.
The page hooks directly into Wikipedia’s API and does an AJAX search (doesn’t reload the page), presenting the results in an easy-to-select manner. Clicking on any of the results brings you to its Wikipedia entry. I’ve tried to make the page as mobile-convenient as possible. A few such things are:
• Adding an icon to the page so that if you save it to your homescreen, it looks like it belongs there:
• A barebones page for quicker loading:
• A (hopefully) simple layout:
Hopefully this will be a tool useful for others. I know I’ll use it! Any feedback to make Mobile Wikipedia Search even better is appreciated!