Wikipedia Going Dark In a Few Hours, Here Are The Apps You Need to Survive the Blackout


The anti-SOPA forces banner; you might be seeing this quite a bit tomorrow.

If you need information from Wikipedia, you’d best get it very quickly; in just a few hours, at 9 P.M. PST (5:00 UTC for our European readers), a coalition of sites across the web — including Wikipedia’s English site, Boing Boing and Reddit — will go dark for a day, displaying this page instead of their usual home pages.

The strike is in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act, currently being considered by Congress. In a nutshell, the two bills contain very strict anti-piracy laws that could even affect this site.

But we’re not here to debate the merits or faults of these bills or the protests. Instead, we’re going to show you how to work around the blackout;  here are three iOS apps that’ll allow you to download content offline and store it for later viewing, so you can get on with your homework/article/legal brief without having to wait till Thursday:

The most obviously useful app to deal with Wikipedia withdrawal tomorrow is Wiki Offline, a $10 Universal App (on sale for $5) that downloads Wikipedia’s entire collection of entries — all 10 million-plus — onto your iDevice for offline viewing. Be warned though, the entries will sprawl out over a whopping 3GB. There’s also a lite version that downloads just the 1,000 most popular Wikipedia entries.

Wikipanion has been one of our favorite Wikipedia portals, because it’s stuffed with so many features. There’re free versions, but the $5 Plus version adds the ability to download entries for offline viewing (note that the free versions are not equipped with this feature). There’re two versions of Wikipanion Plus, one for the iPhone and another for the iPad.

Wikiamo is a great little Wikipedia app in its own right that allows for downloading entries for offline viewing, and it’s free. Downside: it’s iPhone-only.

Of course, if you’re not using an app, you could always just Google whatever it s you’re searching for (along with the term “wikipedia”) and click on the cached link from the results page.

  • Kelvin Smith

    Just visit

  • AndrewMclave

    way to undermine the strike action guys! the idea being to not only protest the draconian laws being contemplated, but to educate the masses who it will affect! most people who take the internet for granted need a wake up call before laws get enacted! its a lot easier to stop a law from being written with partisan help then it is to change or amend a law once it has been put on the books! It may serve those who will use those sites for research or homework better if they are forced to meet this issue head on while they can still do something to defend their freedoms, instead of using your god damn work arounds now! only to lament the death of those freedoms cos they never took the time to find out why the sites did what they did in the first place!

  • David Butt

    Except you don’t need the iOS apps, as “[t]he English Wikipedia will be accessible on mobile devices and smart phones.” (See Wikipedia ‘Learn More’ page)

  • btoe83

    I have supported apple through the apple vs google phone wars.  I currently own a macbook pro, iphone 4s, ipad2, and apple tv.  While I am sure that the company will do wonderfully without my 2000-3000 a year, I will no longer be able to support this company as I have in the past.

        I understand that microsoft also supports this law, however I can say that I did not feel anything when I found that out since I have not purchased a single windows product in the past 5 years.  I would like to thank cultofmac for even having the decency to post this article, even if it is to show their support for the bill.  apple insider macrumors and 9to5 mac did not have the decency to even do that.  

        I can’t say that this is a happy day for me, nor do I hope that every person do what I am doing.  I just can’t support a company that claims to be so anti-microsoft  support a bill like this.  Yes, I know that apple is all about making money, yes I know that they want you to spend as much as possible, and yes I will miss buying the latest apple product with other fanatics waiting in a 5 hour line, but at least I won’t feel like I’m backing a company that turns the other way when they want to pass a law to limit what we can and can’t do online.  I guess, to look on the bright side, I will have a lot more time to be productive since I won’t be wasting time on forums like macrumors, 9to5, and this one trying to figure out what next gadget I need to purchase and whether other people with the iphone 4s can’t connect to siri either, or how if i hit speakerphone it will get rid of the echo that I get on my iphone 4s when i connect the phone to the headphones with mic, or why the new i os5.1 beta testers still have the same problems.  Time to find another hobby.

  • elimilchman

    Yeah, missed that small detail. Though now I suppose having a good Wikipedia app is even more of a must — it just doesn’t necessarily need to be an app that downloads for offline use. 

  • Derek Davis

    Or you can just “view source” on the wikipedia page that you’re on…

  • bakajiji

    You can also disable JavaScript in your browser and view Wikipedia normally, according to the ‘Learn More’ page.

  • Al

    I think this is a reminder to us all that the USA is the only country in the world that speaks English and the only important country in the world. So all the rest of us should just just drop everything and rush to help fix YOUR problems.

  • Bart?omiej ?api?ski

     They don’t care about freedoms as long as they can buy another iGadget :)

  • Soreno Torn

    Very nice words, indeed! 

  • zagatosz

    I am disappointed in cult of mac not putting their support behind the blackout against SOPA.
    Does make you reconsider the value of this site.

  • Samantha Davis

    Apple pulled their support of SOPA in December. If a site like Youtube or Facebook were shut down, Apple would view that as lost revenue.

  • CaveMan5464

    Google also has a petition running on their homepage. Head over there and sign it! Also, post the link up on FB. Lets make sure this blowback is huge.

  • YellowstoneRocks

    This is the best support this site can Muster against SOPA?
    Goodbye cult of mac, I will find a Apple blog that supports the freedom of the internet.