For general knowledge, nothing tops Wikipedia. There is no comparable free resource that can be used as successfully to garner a general view on any topic, figure, event, location, or other notable object. Wikipedia is just amazing, but on your iPad it can get a little hairy; the site is designed for a traditional browser, not a multi-touch slate.
Enter Discover by Cooliris, a very well thought out, wicked fast Wikipedia skin that brings out the best in the encyclopedia, and the best in your iPad. What makes Discover so useful? You don’t have to load more than you absolutely need to, meaning that you can get the information faster, and the application remakes Wikipedia to fit the iPad’s form factor and capabilities.
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Inside Discover, if you swipe up, you are taken to a search screen. This will scour Wikipedia as you type, bringing you possible matches to the letters you have entered thus far. Once you pick your article, it is reformatted by Discover to make moving through the information simple. Section titles in articles are in bold, so you can swipe through the different article pages and find what you need in short order. The application also displays related articles to what you are currently viewing.
Discover also keeps a running tally of the most recent articles that you have read through, allowing for fast recall if you just need that quick fact that you may have missed along the way of your first read.
Past that, Discover has some nice tics to it that add greatly to its charm. When you first load the application, the article of the day is shown. Don’t like it? Just give your iPad a shake to be shown a new one. Swipe left and launch and you will be shown the picture of the day. Small things, but very pleasant small things.