Fresh iPhone Apps for May 12: Trove, Dictionary.com (iPad update), WikiNodes

by Phil Hornshaw

It’s all about information on today’s Fresh Apps list. Starting out is Trove, an app that’s designed to bring you only the most relevant news articles from thousands of different sources around the web, curated to just what you want to read. Dictionary.com’s dictionary and thesaurus app just got a new update for iPad that lets you see what people in your area are looking up, and WikiNodes turns Wikipedia into a visual web of knowledge.

Trove (iPhone, iPad) Free

From The Washington Post, Trove is an app that aggregates news stories into one place, weeding out the things that aren’t interesting to you and providing only the news you want to read. The app pulls news articles from more than 10,000 sources and uses a combination of software sorting and human editing to bring you just the stories most relevant to you.

Trove offers more than 3,000 channels that you can choose from to help choose what kind of content you want to read. And if you can’t find a preset list to meet your interests, you can create one of your own from within the app, instantly.

Dictionary.com (iPad update) Free

Dictionary.com’s iPad app already does a lot of what you’d expect, providing dictionary and thesaurus functions and letting users search through nearly 2 million words to find the right spelling, definition, synonym or antonym for any given situation, without the need for an Internet connection. The app already has a lot of useful reference features besides just word lookup, like audio phonetic pronunciations that you can listen to for the words included in the app.

After a recent big update, Dictionary.com has added a new feature to its app that is perhaps not as useful as looking up words and learning how to pronounce them, but it’s probably a little more interesting. It’s called “Word Trends,” and it allows users to see what words are being looked up through the iPad app the most. Trends can be customized by geography, too, so you can find out what your neighbors have been struggling to spell or define.

WikiNodes (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

WikiNodes takes the huge sprawling maze of information that is Wikipedia and organizes it into a spider web of knowledge. Instead of having articles listed in text search results, WikiNodes presents them as visual floating “nodes” that are connected to other nodes. The node for chocolate, for example, has a picture of a dessert, and tapping that node brings up the full article on chocolate.

Related articles to something like chocolate are shown as branching off to nearby nodes. The idea is that you can read about chocolate and quickly find a related article about sugar, or about the cacao tree, just by looking for nearby nodes.