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Wikipedia updates mobile apps, drops Google Maps for OpenStreetMap

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The Wikipedia Mobile apps for iOS and Android have been updated — and in what is becoming an increasingly common trend, both have dropped Google Maps in favor of the open-source OpenStreetMap.

Wikipedia for iOS update with OpenStreetMap
Wikipedia for iOS update with OpenStreetMap

Wikipedia has announced updates to both its iOS and Android apps — and in yet another data point in an increasingly common trend, they are both dropping Google Maps in favor of the open-source alternative OpenStreetMap. Last year Google put rate limits into place for users of the Google Maps API, and a steady string of defections has emerged in the subsequent months: Foursquare, Apple, and Microsoft have all moved to OpenStreetMap in various products. According to the Wikimedia Foundation, the move away from proprietary Google APIs will allow its app to run on "millions of cheap Android handsets" that don't utilize Google's own applications themselves. While Wikipedia is currently relying on Mapquest for map tiles, it will be moving to its own tile servers in the future.

As for the app updates themselves, the new iOS version brings it to feature parity with the Android app that first debuted in January, adding social sharing options and the ability to save pages for offline viewing amongst several other features. Both platforms are receiving search bar integration, with the Android version also receiving an updated UI for tablet devices. If you'd like to get your hands on the refreshed apps, they're available in the App Store and in the Google Play Store now.