Qwiki, still in an alpha release stage, started out as a clever presentation of linked Wikipedia-type information. Give one of the 3 million topics Qwiki has in its content store, it displays a slide show with a good synthesized voice narrating information about what you see in the slideshow. I recall playing with Qwiki’s web interface, finding it interesting, but not something I wanted to use on a day-to-day basis. It was simply faster to go to Wikipedia or some other information source and read text myself. So, I have not used Qwiki since that long ago time – until now.
Qwiki released a free iPad app yesterday.
My experience this time was totally different despite the fact that the information presented on Qwiki’s website is identical to what is one the iPad. The difference, I believe, is that Qwiki is better suited for a “lean back” experience (sitting on your sofa or on a lawn chair) instead of a “lean forward” experience (sitting at your desk starting at your notebook’s or desktop’s display.
Qwiki’s leisurely pace and serial presentation is a very comfortable one when on a sofa. It is like watching an interactive documentary where you can choose what is explained next. Qwiki, while different from Microsoft Bing for the iPad, has a similar explorator feel that is well suited for a lean back experience.