According to Google’s DoubleClick ad planner, Wikipedia is the sixth largest website in the world with approximately 410 million monthly unique visitors. Founded in 2001, Wikipedia is a crowd-sourced encyclopedia operated by the Wikimedia Foundation with a noble goal: Free information by the people, for the people. As great as Wikipedia can be, though, the look of the site is a bit drab. As such, a number of third-party developers have set out over the years to build apps that make the site a bit more enjoyable to use. Some developers do a better job than others, but one app shines brighter than the rest.

Friends of The Web, a four-man developer team out of Baltimore, Maryland, launched a beautiful Wikipedia reader in July last year that recently received an update. At $4.99, Wikiweb is a bargain for frequent Wikipedia users. The app gives users access to the always expanding wealth of knowledge that is Wikipedia, but it presents information in a minimalistic, beautiful and novel way.

Perform a search in Wikiweb and the result is presented as a single dot at the center of the screen. Swiping in from the right side of the screen opens up the related article on a simple but elegant page. But tap the search result instead, and Wikiweb enters a unique and interesting discovery mode.

That single search result at the center of the display explodes into a web of related topics, encouraging the user to explore new pages. Tap on a new topic and a new web of related pages bursts onto the screen, or simply swipe in from the right to read the related article. I have found some amazing things using this smart function that I never would have thought to search for, and browsing Wikipedia without this nifty app has become boring and dull.

Wikiweb is available now on both the iPhone and iPad for $4.99, and a portion of all proceeds is donated to the Wikimedia Foundation.

More information and a download link can be found on the Wikiweb site and a demo video of Wikiweb in action follows below.