For some, it was a sad day when the Encyclopaedia Britannica printed its last volume. For others, it was an event that should have been filed under “F”, for “Finally!” The revered encyclopedia is still available, but in a much more portable form. It’s now an app, so instead of referencing a 32-volume, 129-pound pile of books, users can now simply turn to their smartphones.
Some of the content is available for free, such as the “This Day” feature, which offers up entire entries on events that occurred on the day in previous years. Certain “Top Articles” are also free, like the entries on Aristotle, Mount Everest and John Lennon. For entries on almost everything else in the world, though, users will have to subscribe. In the U.S., a monthly subscription costs $1.99. This is an interesting approach – rather than have users pay a flat, one-time fee, the powers that be have clearly decided that more profit can be made by using a subscription format.
The entries we looked at seemed thorough and reliable, and the design is simple, easy-on-the-eyes and intuitive. Users can save their favorite entries (useful if you’re working on a school report or project) and it seems to do what it says on the tin. There aren’t a huge number of photos, but there are enough to add interest, and links to other entries have been added where applicable.
Unfortunately, Android users are left out in the cold, at least for now, although there’s talk of an app appearing on Google Play later this year.
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Image from Encyclopaedia-Britannica