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Wikispaces for the iPad

October 4, 2012

I make no bones about the fact that I am a big fan of Wikispaces. I only wish I could convince more faculty members that wikis are a great medium for all kinds of educational activities. There just seems to be something about them that people don’t “get” quickly — and they move on to something else.

Anyway … the people at Wikispaces have been working on their iPad interface. They just rolled out a sleek new look with “seamless navigation.” No special app is required — you can access the full functionality in your Safari browser. Folks who have iOS 6 can now add photos and video to their wiki pages directly from an iPad.

I decided I needed to see how things looked, so I grabbed my iPad and logged into Wikispaces. One of the first things I noticed was that there are nav bars at the top and bottom of the screen. I was a little surprised not to see a sidebar menu — you have to tap the “…” at the bottom to display it. A post on their blog warns you about this (see Wikispaces for iPads). I wish they could hide the bookmark and location bars to give you more screen space to work with.

Kudos to the Wikispaces crew for making this happen. One of the main reasons I love the system is that they are constantly making improvements. In general the system works as promised. A complete toolbar is available and I had no trouble using it. I easily added an image from the “Camera Roll” on my iPad. Then I wanted to see how well the widgets tool worked, so I added an RSS feed — no problem.

I did run into some small glitches, too. After creating a new page and starting to edit, I found that the bottom nav bar sometimes got stuck in the middle of the screen. And the tool menu was hidden under the top nav bar at one point. Finally, on the “Pages and Files” screen I found it difficult to click the “edit” button after selecting a page.

All in all, Wikispaces provides a good user experience on the iPad, and I’m sure it will continue to improve. I could not find information about how well Wikispaces works on Android devices. I’d love to hear from folks who have tried it out on a Samsung Galaxy or other tablet.

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