WikiLinks Makes Me Actually Want to Search Wikipedia

The Big Fish Holiday Sale officially ended just a few minutes ago. But, don’t despair. It will return in the spring. Usually around Mother’s Day. Did you get any great games?

WikiLinks

WikiLinks puts a different spin on how to search Wikipedia.

Now I want to turn your attention to a brand new app that helps you search Wikipedia in a brand new and amazing way. WikiLinks is a whole new way to do Wikipedia.

I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to Wikipedia. I use it a lot to do basic searches for things when I just don’t know where to begin. But, my grad school training ingrained in me the idea that for real and reliable research, Wikipedia is not the way to go.

However, with WikiLinks, I find myself going out of my way to think of things to search for on Wikipedia.

You can see in the photo above that WikiLinks looks nothing like any other Wikipedia app. From its circles of articles to its ability to search YouTube, WikiLinks is like nothing you’ve ever used.

WikiLinks

The circle design maps out your search in WikiLinks.

Let’s start with the circles. When you do a search in WikiLinks (click the magnifying glass on the bottom left), you get a main article surrounded by related articles that branch out from the main article in a circle. If you click on 1 of the related articles, it branches out and is surrounded by related articles of its own. If you keep going, you get a map of circles like in the photo above.

WikiLinks

When you click on the magnifying glass to do a search, the list of possible articles to view pops up like in this photo, and you just click on the 1 you want and a circle map begins.

To read any of the articles you see on the page of circles, you need only click on it and it appears on the right side of the screen in landscape format on the iPad. On the iPhone, it opens up on a screen of its own. That’s right. WikiLinks is universal. So, you can use this wonderful app on any iDevice.

You can also download everything on the screen for offline reading by clicking the down arrow on the top middle of the screen. You can set a maximum capacity for downloads in the Settings of the app so that the app can only take up so much room.

The Settings are accessed by clicking on the 3 dots button in the bottom right of the screen as seen in the photo above. This is also where you find the ability to print the page, post to Facebook, Tweet, email, and text the information you are looking at.

Clicking on the circle-map button in the bottom middle of the screen allots more space either for the circle map or for the information you are currently reading.

The arrow buttons on the top of the screen control your circle map. You can move forward and backward in the map you have made to undo and redo any mapping you have made.

The arrow buttons on the bottom of the screen control the information pages you are reading. They move you forward and backward for the information on the right side of the screen.

Now, let’s look at some of the extras that WikiLinks provides.

WikiLinks

First is photos.

To see all of the photos related to the article you are reading, just click on the photo button at the top of the screen.

It brings up a screen like the photo at left. Each photo can be seen full-screen and in stunning detail. You can shuffle through all of the photos by clicking on other photos at the bottom of the screen to see them full-screen. It’s pretty awesome.

The number of photos availble is shown as a badge on the photo button.

WikiLinks

But, the really neat thing for me is the YouTube integration.

I am a complete novice when it comes to YouTube. I really don’t know where to begin when using it.

WikiLinks makes it super easy to find and view YouTube videos related to the topic you are searching for. Just click the YouTube button on the top of the screen and a list of YouTube videos pops up, just like in this photo. The number of videos available is shown as a badge on the button.

But, there’s even more. Instead of taking you out of the app and to YouTube, WikiLinks lets you view the videos within the app itself. For me, this is just too cool!

WikiLinks

WikiLinks is super customizable, as well. Click on the world button in the middle of the top of the screen to pick from about 50 different languages to view WikiLinks in.

In the Settings part of the app, you can choose to view the app in Full Screen or turn that off so you can see the clock and battery charge at the top of the screen.

You can also sign up to get an article of the day, change the font, hide reference links, have it show thumbnails, turn history on or off and search the history of what you have looked at, turn on low resolution images to save money when using mobile data plans, and set the limit for your offline cache of reading. You can also clear the cache at any time from this location.

Oh, I forgot to tell you about the dice at the top of the screen. Just click it to get a random article. Great for when you just want to use this unique and awesome app but don’t really have anything to search for.

Also on the top of the screen is a quick way to make the font bigger or smaller by clicking on the little or big letters. And, the magnifying glass on the top takes you to Google in Safari to do further searching on your subject.

Now, I covered and compared the big Wikipedia Reader apps in this article, but despite the prestige those apps have, I would choose to use WikiLinks over those apps any day (twice on Tuesday).

The only thing that WikiLinks is missing in my opinion is the ability to see an outline for each article. I like to be able to glance at the bullet points of the article and go to exactly the part I need from an outline, which is something that most other Wikipedia apps offer. But, this is such a minor point in comparison to everything else that WikiLinks gets right that I even hesitated to mention it.

WikiLinks is a brand new app, so I can’t wait to see what it adds in the future.

Bottom line: If you enjoy visual design and searcing, WikiLinks is going to become 1 of your favorite apps. If you are a YouTube fan, WikiLinks is definitely for you. And, if you just need a beautiful, universal, and powerful Wikipedia search app, WikiLinks is the only way to go.

That’s it for me today. Until later, …

Apple Still Leading the Pack

This is my 3rd roundup of infographics tonight after I spent an ungodly amount of time using my Tumblr app, TumbleOn HD – Tumblr App for Images. The app aggregates all of the images used in all Tumblr blogs and makes them easily searchable using key words and tags.

The first infographic I ran tonight featured the evolution of being a geek, which is a very fun look at the world of geekdom. The second roundup featured this year’s social media story told through infographics, with commentary by me.

This roundup takes a look at All Things Apple.

The 1st infographic features a sampling of Tweets from the 24 hours surrounding Christmas. By looking at Tweets, the makers of this infographic were able to get a feel for which tablet was most gifted this Christmas.

No surprise here. The iPad won by a landslide. The Amazon Kindle (mostly the Kindle Fire) is a distant second, followed by the Google Nexus, and in a very distant last place is the Microsoft Surface tablet.

Did you get a tablet for Christmas, and if so, which one did you get?

What I got for Christmas

The 2nd infographic in this roundup features the most influential people, products, companies, and cities in 2012.

By looking at the infographic you can see that, except for cities, Apple shows up in every category and leads the pack in the product category.

Steve Jobs, who died October 5, 2011, apparently still wielded enough power in 2012 to put him on the list of most influential people.

In the most influential products category, the iPhone and iPad are in 1st and 2nd place respectively. Also on that list is iTunes, the iPod, and the MacBook. That means that 5 out of 14 (or 36%) of the most influential products are Apple products. Pretty impressive.

And, in the most influential companies category, Apple ranks #4. In 2011, it was revealed that Apple has more cash on hand than the U.S. government. Apple is also the leading music retailer in the world, has 90% market share in the industry’s most profitable segment, is the most profitable company in the world, and the App Store makes Apple the largest software distributer in the world. Read more about these accomplishments here.

What all of that means is that love them or hate them, Apple is a formidable company that deserves some respect for what it has achieved, especially considering that it got its start in a garage in the 80s.

Related Link:

Most influential ... 2012

This last infographic is just a bit of fun. The infographic is a parody of what the advertising and such would look like if Apple made a credit card. The “iCard,” as the developer of this infographic so aptly named it, may or may not be a good idea, but the infographic makers hit almost every mark in what the iCard’s marketing would look like and what features might be offered with it. From font to finish, this is pure Apple, but purely fiction.

The iCard

Well, that’s it for the infographic extravaganza. I hope you enjoyed them as much I did.

That’s also it for me today. Until later, …

Social Media’s Story in Infographics for 2012

As I said in my first post today, I spent a lot of time in my Tumblr app today looking at infographics. The app is called TumbleOn HD – Tumblr App for Images. It’s a great little app that lets you just look at the images being used on Tumblr. And, let’s be honest. That’s all anyone really looks at on Tumblr anyway. This app just aggregates all the images and lets you look for things by typing in tags or key words.

About this post. I decided to round up infographics on the state of social media, along with one that gives you tips for making great posts on Facebook.

This 1st infographic rounds up what happened in social media over the course of 2012. Some you’ll remember (Facebook buying Instagram), and some you may not (how many people Tweet about TV). Take a look and see how much you remember, how much you don’t, and how much is useless filler :)

State of social media 2012

This 2nd infographic from the Huffington Post has some interesting numbers on everything from the percentage of people who ignore privacy settings to how much food-related content is on Pinterest. The infographic is broken down into statistics for each specific social media site or app. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest are all featured.

What surprises you the most about these statistics?

Social media statistics

This last infographic is a cheat sheet for using Facebook. Do you want to increase the amount of interaction you have with your friends or followers on Facebook? This infographic will show you how by telling you what gets noticed and what doesn’t when it comes to posting things on your wall.

Facebook cheat sheet

Well, that finishes off this edition of infographic roundup. Stay tuned for an all Apple extravaganza of infographics in just a bit.

UPDATE:

Apple infographic roundup

The Evolution of Geek

I spent way too much time in my Tumblr app today looking at infographics. This one caught my eye and I knew I definitely needed to share it.

I'm going to do 2 more roundups of infographics in just a bit. One is on the state of social media in 2012 and the other is on Apple, Apple, Apple (is anyone surprised?). So, stay tuned.

By the way, what kind of geek are you?

Being a Geek infographic

UPDATE:

iOS 6.0.2 Released for iPhone 5, iPad mini

iOS 6.0.2 update

My iPhone 5 updates to 6.0.2 easily without hooking up to iTunes.

Apple released an iOS 6 update this morning for the iPhone 5 and the iPad mini only. iOS 6.0.2 is a minor update that is supposed to fix a wifi issue that affects only those devices.

This is the only issue being addressed in this limited and minor update. Apple has not specified what wifi issue is being addressed, but users have complained about everything from poor recepetion to dropped connections in the past.

Users were complaining that they could not update over the air at first using the built-in software update tool, but that problem seems to have been fixed. I had no problem updating that way.

iPhone 5 and iPad mini users should be able to update to iOS 6.0.2 by going to General and then Software Update in the Settings app. Just press Install and agree to the terms and the update installs relatively quickly.

Some users who have installed the update have complained that their battery is draining more quickly than usual, but since the update was literally just released a very short time ago this morning, I'm left to wonder how much of that is the usual user paranoia over any new update.

Just to clarify: This update is ONLY for the iPhone 5 and iPad mini.

According to CNET, the update comes just a day after Apple gave developers a fourth beta of iOS 6.1. That software, which is expected by the end of the year, or shortly thereafter, brings new boarding pass behavior in Apple's Passbook software, tweaks to Safari, reworked music playback controls from the lock screen, ticket purchases through Fandango in Siri, and a back-end change in Apple's mapping software.

Apple's last update to iOS 6 was iOS 6.0.1 on November 1. That software fixed a handful of bugs, including one that kept iPhone 5 users from installing over-the-air software updates. It also fixed an issue with lines appearing on the software keyboard, and a bug that deleted meetings from calendars when accepting an invitation.

Big Fish Christmas Sale Begins

Big Fish Games lowered prices on most iPad games to $2.99 and most iPhone games to 99 cents as of earlier this morning. In a change from earlier sales, it looks as if some newer games have not been marked down. For instance, Christmas Stories: Nutcracker Collector’s Edition HD is still $4.99.

To find some good games to download, check out the links below:

Not on this list, because I hadn’t gotten around to reviewing them yet, are Otherworld: Spring of Shadows Collector’s Edition (HD version for iPad) and Mystery Trackers: Black Isle Collector’s Edition HD. They are both definitely worth a download. And, you absolutely have to try Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst (HD version for iPad). The links to all of these are to the FREE versions, which will still be marked down in-app. I link to the FREE Collector’s Editions because, in general, they more often have bonus features not always available in the full-paid versions.

Happy Big Fish hunting! Go spend some money!

That’s it for me for now. Until later, …

Lots of App Store Sales for the Holidays

I spend a lot of time in the App Store and in AppShopper, although AppShopper appears to have been pulled from the App Store (hopefully temporarily). It is still working perfectly, if you already have it.

What I’ve noticed in the past few days are a lot of sales that are lasting from now until the new year. This is a great opportunity to pick up apps you’ve been wanting and to gift some apps to others for holiday gifts.

Gift that app

Send an app for the holiday.

If you didn’t know, you can buy an app for someone else by clicking on the box in the top right corner of the app pop-up box for any paid app in the App Store. Just click the blue “Gift” button that appears, and it will guide you through how to send that app to someone else. It then shows up on your iTunes account, as usual.

Today, I’m going to feature 1 developer. I will continue to keep an eye on the sales and bring you the best deals that I see in future posts.

Walking Dead: The Game

One really great deal going on right now is the sale by Telltale Games. They make a number of great games that usually cost around $3-$7. Right now, they are all 99 cents, with 1 exception. Walking Dead: The Game (photo at left) is completely FREE.

The sale is going to continue until the new year begins. Walking Dead is based on the book series by Robert Kirkman. With the current TV series, zombie obsession is running high, which makes this app a real steal.

Monkey Island

Telltale also makes a lot of games that are series themselves. One of my favorites is the Monkey Island Tales series (photo at right), which has 5 games. Each of the 5 games are available for the iPhone and the iPad, but they are not universal games so you’ll have to buy them separately if you want them on both devices.

Monkey Island is a fun adventure game filled with humorous dialogue and tricky puzzles to figure out.

It may seem costly to buy all the games, but at 99 cents apiece, you’re saving $10 (they are usually $3 apiece). On some of the other games I will feature, you’ll save up to $18 with this sale.

Here is a list of the links to all of the Monkey Island Tales games:

iPhone version

iPad version

Sam & Max

Another popular series by Telltale is the Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space games (photo at left). There are 5 episodes of this game. I just picked them all up myself. I’ve played part of the 1st game and it is really fun, and like Monkey Island, it is filled with humorous dialogue. Unlike Monkey Island, Sam & Max games are universal, so all the games work on any device. Yay! There is also a game called Sam & Max Episode 1: The Penal Zone for iPad, which is available for 99 cents as well. I assume there will be more games coming in this series.

Here is a list of all 5 episodes of Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space:

Wallace & Gromit

Another game that I picked up today by Telltale is Wallace & Gromit The Last Resort for iPad (photo at left). The review by 148apps was very mixed on this game. They said it was great, but they had a lot of technical glitches and crashes while playing it. I’m hoping my 3rd generation iPad can handle the game, because it looks like a lot of fun.

Puzzle Agent 1

Two games that I’ve had for awhile but have yet to play much of are the Puzzle Agent games (Puzzle Agent 1 photo at right). As you can tell from the name of the games, they are filled with puzzles. But, they are also filled with Telltale’s trademark humorous and witty dialogue.

One thing that is great about the Puzzle Agent games is that there is a lite version available for the 1st game, so you can try it before you buy it. This will give you a good feel for how the games play and what they are like. The bad thing is that they are not universal, so you have to buy separately for each device.

Here are the links to the Puzzle Agent games:

iPhone version

iPad version

Hector: Ep1

Another series of games by Telltale that has interested me but that I have yet to buy is the HECTOR series (photo at left). This series has 3 episodes filled to the brim with humor and things you would never say in real life.

The HECTOR series is not universal, so you have to buy each game separately. But, there is a lite version of the first game for the iPad, which means you can try before you buy. I’m a little confused because the 1st game doesn’t seem to be available in the App Store for the iPhone version. If it’s there and I’m missing it, someone please let me know.

Here are the links to all the HECTOR series games:

iPhone version

iPad version

Back to the Futue

We’ve got 2 more series and 1 stand-alone game to go in the Telltale library of games. You still with me?

The next 2 series are based on movies that were blockbusters in their time.

The 1st is Back to the Future (photo at right). The story of this series should be familiar to just about everyone. At least everyone over the age of 35 😃

The Back to the Future series is broken into 5 games and is available only for the iPad.

Here are the links for the series:

Jurassic Park

The final series by Telltale is based on Jurassic Park. Jurassic Park: The Game (photo at left) is a 4-part series available only for the iPad 2 and higher. This is probably due to the fact that all of Telltale’s games are big due to the intensive nature of the graphics involved. That means your device needs to have a chip that is powerful enough to run the games, and the original iPad does not have that (sorry). The Jurassic Park series begins during the last half of the first Jurassic Park film and goes on from there.

Here are the links to the Jurassic Park series:

Law & Order

The final game in Telltale’s line-up is based on the TV series Law & Order. It is called Law & Order: Legacies (photo at right) and it is universal, so it will work on any device.

Although it is a stand alone game in the App Store, you can purchase another 6 episodes to the game through in-app purchase. A multi-pack is available that includes all of the episodes for $12.99, or you can purchase each episode individually.

In each episode, you get to play detective first and then prosecutor, just like on the show. There are multiple endings that are based on your moral decision-making.

That’s it for me today. Until later, …

Video: Band Performs Holiday Concert With iDevices Only

I found this video last year and am absolutely in LOVE with it. The band performs all of their concerts using only iDevices (iPads, iPhones, and iPods). It is too cool, so I had to share it. I actually bought the little robot musician app that is shown.

7 Shopping Days Left … What’s On Your List?

The Christmas List

Map out your holiday productivity with a pie chart!

I have always been one to decorate and shop for the holidays early. Except for this year. This year I have neither decorated or shopped.

With 1 week to go until Christmas and Hanukkah already behind us, I thought I'd actually get started with a shopping list app that is currently on sale for 99 cents.

There is no shortage of list-making apps in the App Store, or even holiday/gift-buying list-making apps. Literally, there are hundreds, if not more. But, The Christmas List is one of the only gift-buying specialty apps I've seen with a perfect 5-star rating (with 316 ratings in!) and at such a reasonable price.

The Christmas List

However, it's more than the perfect price that makes The Christmas List so perfect. I used 2 or 3 different apps last year to do what I'm doing with just this 1 app this year so belatedly.

The Christmas List lets you add as many groups or single people as you would like to your main screen (at left). You can see the people or groups any way you choose, too. You can view just what you've already purchased, what you've budgeted, just 1 group, all groups, pretty much any way you want to view the list is available.

Click edit in the top right of the page to move the groups and people around to your liking. The add a new group or new person buttons are at the very bottom of the main page. The button on the top left of the page shows you each group's totals.

The Christmas List

When you add a group, you just name the group. When you add a person though, you get to add a picture of that person, add them to a group, budget how much money you want for that person, and take notes on them. You can even import all of their information from your Contacts app instead of typing it in again, which is awesome!

Don't have a photo of that person and hate placeholder photos like me? The Christmas List has lots of fun winter-themed photos to use as that person's photo. It's the little touches like this that made me fall in love with this app.

At the bottom of each group on the main screen (above), you find a total of everything either purchased or budgeted for that list (depending on if you've pushed the purchased or budgeted button at the top of the screen), the budget you've set, and how much you have left to spend. This is a great feature for the math-phobic like myself.

You can even find a to do list for each group by clicking on the group's name and using the buttons on the bottom of the screen.

The Christmas List

Additionally, you can input a ton of information about each gift and archive all of that information for later so you remember what you bought each person last year, and the year before, and …

The screen for adding a new gift (at left) is accessed when you click on one of your people and then click on the present button in the bottom left. You can then add the name of the gift, 1 of 5 status options, 1 of 3 priority options, a store (although only certain stores are listed), the price, and notes about the gift. You can even assign the gift to more than 1 person and add a photo of it.

You can share your lists or contacts or anything in the app really with someone via a text message or email, send it to another app, or post it to Facebook, if you're not good at keeping secrets. You can also Tweet and Facebook from the progress page and the stores page, as well.

The Christmas List

Speaking of the pie chart/progress page, it rocks! For a quick look at exactly where you are and how much time you have left to shop, check out the pie chart page (very top photo on post). It tells you what you have left to do, what you've purchased, wrapped, shipped, and what's been received. It's a perfect visual representation of how late I am this year. But, it's pretty :)

In the settings, you can turn on a passcode lock for top-level security, change the background of the app, manage your gift history, change the style of the budget, and get online help or read frequently asked questions.

There are so many nested pages within pages in The Christmas List that are still so accessible that you could store reams of information in this little iPhone gem.

Well, I better actually quit procrastinating and get to shopping!

Related Links:

That's it for me today. Until later, …

App Store Releases App, Game of the Year Selections

Best of 2012

The Room won Game of the Year.

This is just a short post that I meant to write yesterday. But, fun and frivolity won out (I left the house).

During this week’s App Store refresh on Thursday, they also released their top picks for App and Game of the Year, the runners-up, and a whole host of other apps that made this year great in the App Store Best of 2012 feature.

Paper by FiftyThree is the App Store’s pick for App of the Year for 2012. I reviewed Paper here. Paper is a FREE app with in-app purchases if you want more tools to draw with that is the closest thing to drawing in your Moleskin that you may ever find on an iOS device.

The Room is the App Store’s pick for Game of the Year for 2012. I reviewed The Room here, because it’s my favorite game ever! The Room is a puzzle game with the most intensively awesome graphics you have ever seen. The simple description is that you are opening a box and boxes within that box, but you should read the full review to find out why that’s just scratching the surface of The Room.

Both Paper and The Room are available only for the iPad.

UPDATE: The Room Pocket is now available for FREE to try on the iPhone. It is only available for the iPhone 4S and 5 due to heavy graphic needs.

Best of 2012

The winners and the runners-up

The runners-up for both categories include some pretty awesome apps in their own right, although I have yet to review either of them at iOS Affairs. I own them both.

Action Movie FX really is pretty cool. It lets you add special effects from movies to videos that you have shot. There are a good amount of effects included with the app, but there are some really awesome effects available for in-app purchase, as well.

Waking Mars was tauted by the critics as almost perfect when it first came out. It takes place in the future when life is discovered on Mars. Your mission is to master the alien ecosystem to survive.

Both apps are universal, so you can play them on any iOS device.

Best of 2012

Hidden Gems

After you check out the winners, check out the rest of what is featured in the Best of 2012 roundup. I especially like the Hidden Gems categories for apps and games.

Readability is absolutely my favorite app for reading things later that I see on the Internet. It is universal. I reviewed all the read-it-later apps, including Readability, here. The other app in that category that I absolutely LOVE is Unstuck. Unstuck is an app that works using the principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy, but it’s really just a fun, yet seriously helpful way of getting yourself moving again when you find yourself stuck because of something that has happened in your life. It is available for the iPad. I reviewed Unstuck previously here. Ghost Trick is another of the Hidden Gem apps/games you may want to try. I haven’t reviewed it yet because I have yet to finish it, but it has been a blast to play!

You should definitely check out the App Store’s Best of 2012 collection in the Featured section of the App Store. I’ve already found a new game from it. I just bot Eufloria HD. It looks awesome and I can’t wait to try it.

That’s it for me today. Until later, …