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APP WATCH: Encyclopaedia Britannica relaunches on iPad and iPhone

18 April 2012

32-volume print set replaced with a monthly app subscription

Its decline was probably hastened by Wikipedia's popularity, but ultimately, the end of Encyclopaedia Britannica was down to sheer practicality. 32 huge volumes of facts just doesn't cut it in 2012. However, Encyclopaedia Britannica on the iPad and iPhone is an altogether different matter.

Yes, just a month after announcing the end of its print publication, Encyclopaedia Britannica is back as an oh-so-modern app. But it's not a free app.

If you want full access to the facts, you'll be looking at £1.99 each month. The best part of £24 each year. Still, that's a lot cheaper than the £1,195 being asked for the printed set. If that's still a bit rich for you, some of the more popular entries will be available for free (the app is free to download). But to be honest, the selling point here is the full package.

That offers up 80,000 articles, said to be 'expertly written and thoroughly fact checked' (which sounds like a dig at another reference site to us), throwing in photographs, diagrams, charts, the option to personalise your guide, a 'LinkMap' of related content and contributions from 'subject gurus', including the likes of Bill Clinton, Tony Hawk, and Desmond Tutu.

If you love your facts, it might well be worth the subscription, which will be auto-renewed, unless you stop it from doing so. An Android version is also said to be following closely behind, presumably for the same price.



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