Wiki’s are definitely not new, and the popular Hawaiian word meaning quick, has become a staple in fast information consumption, creation, and collaboration. Qwiki, a wiki type app specializes in a unique method of information consumption. It talks to you while showing you a slideshow of topics in the millions. It is much cooler than it sounds. With inlaid graphics such as zooming into maps, showing diagrams, flags, and any other image you can think of related to almost any topic you can think of, Qwiki is a fun way to get your knowledge up.
I’m the kind of guy who wakes up from a good night’s sleep with a random dream about some pretty random topics. Lets say wave pools as an example. I love to learn and consider myself to be an extremely curious person. So when I have a dream about such things as wave pools, I generally enjoy reading about how they work, their history, the biggest, etc. A Google search eventually leads me to my goal through websites like howstuffworks.com or maybe Wikipedia. But those experiences are just flat out not as fun as learning with Qwiki. So I took my curiosity of Wave Pools and headed over to my iPad with Qwiki.
The presentation was nice, but spent far less time on how they worked and far more on their history. That’s fine because now I know that as well, but I really want to know the how and not the why. On the bottom left of the screen, following a presentation, there are direct links to Wikipedia, Google, Fotopedia, and Youtube. Clicking these will take your topic and auto search it in one of those 4 places. Using Qwiki does sometimes exchange quantity of information with a better presentation style. You may not always have your specific area or question about a topic answered, but I guarantee you will learn something about it and then be able to research further. Lets dive into the way the app works.
The main screen will show categories which you can navigate through such as News, Popular, Actors, Cities, etc. News will display as a default with the most current displayed and ready for you to simply click on. You also have the option to search for anything you can imagine with a high success rate of it showing up (go ahead – try it). The search field will auto-complete (like Google) to show different areas related to what you typed. There are sharing buttons along the bottom to share with Facebook, Twitter, or Email.
Depending on the topic, you can expect the presentation to be slightly different. As the app audibly explains various facts about the topic, the words will show across the bottom while photos change in sync with what is being talked about. I assume the photo to text matching happens dynamically as there are occasionally unusual photos with the presentations.
As an example, staying on the topic of the Wave Pool – Ohio is talked about at one point while Nuts are shown on the screen. This only happens rarely, but it happens. This happens because instead of finding an image related to the Ohio/Wavepool connection, Qwiki incorrectly found another connection between the person from Ohio they are talking about related to Wavepools, and Nuts. During a presentation you can click on photos and they will maximize. You are also able to see details about the photo such as its original location, the credit for the photo, and a caption. Additionally, you’re able to skip to a specific part of a presentation by selecting the related photo from a horizontal scroll bar of photo thumbnails across the middle bottom of the page.
When the topic’s presentation is over, you are able to perform a number of functions. First, you can share the presentation on social networking sites or through email or replay and provide feedback in the Summary section. Second, additional presentations will be shown which cover relationships to both the original topic, and topics discussed in the original topic’s presentation. Finally, you are able to perform additional research on the topic by clicking the Wikipedia, Google, Fotopedia, or Youtube buttons on the bottom left as mentioned above.
From Qwiki’s website: “Qwiki was recently recognized by Apple as the 2011 iPad App of the year in the Search & Reference category, with ~1 million downloads.” This app is the most fun way I have ever consumed information. Are you going to use it to write a research paper? Probably not. But for those days when you scratch your head and say, “I wonder….” this is your answer. Qwiki gets a 10/10 for giving us, in my opinion, one of the most fun ways to learn random topics.
Qwiki is a Free app available for download in the App Store.