Talk:Task force/Offline/Cellphone

From Strategic Planning

I'm not on this task force, but interested in looking some at Africa (and the Middle East). What you should know is that in places like Africa, mobile phones are much more widely available and used than are personal computers. Also, not everyone has a data/internet plan for their phone. It's quite common for people to have SMS & voice only.

I propose adding to the presentation section of the list:

  1. SMS messaging capability, for small bits of info or data.

About SMS: In Africa and other places, people to use SMS in very clever ways to access information, such as to get crop price information, for exchanging money (saving people a trip into town) - see [1], weather info. It can also be used to report and contribute information to a collaborative, crowdsourcing type project, such as for election monitoring, disaster info, crime incident reports, ... - See,, and

For Wikimedia projects, we could think outside the box about how we could package wiki content in small bits (maybe just article leads or even briefer, data from infoboxes, or some better idea). Also, we have Wikinews and other projects. How could wikis work in this context of SMS, or be integrated with other tools (e.g. Ushahidi).

The other issue would be how to improve, develop, and package content that would be most useful and relevant. (e.g. perhaps not pop culture) It should be noted that types of content that could be quite useful include what's in scope of and even

To see how SMS might work, see also

Aude 06:30, 2 December 2009 (UTC)[reply] - this is also quite useful, for finding business info, where something is located, phone number, and be able to contact them.
It would be neat to be able to call a number and hear an audio version of an article (maybe just the lead), a list, infobox facts, or other information.
From personal experience, the cheap, basic mobile phone I got (last year) when I lived in Egypt was able to do just SMS and calls, and I didn't always have my computer with me (or net access). Being able to do voice and/or SMS to get info would be fantastic. Aude 06:42, 2 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Preloaded material

If the budget versions of mobile phones in 2015 has screens and memories as large an as for example iPhone they provides an increadible opportunity to provide free knowledge and educational material to everyone. Because with such a screen size it is realy feasable to replace books by phones. Distribution and press costs can be cut to almost zero as the material can be preloaded on phones that people would have bought anyway and the material itself, if based on free material as in the case of Wikipedia, would also be free.

The article linked from the main page on today contains about 20 000 characters, another day when I checked the main page article contained 50 000 characters. Say that the size of a good quality article lies somewhere in between, 20-50 thousand characters. With one byte per character that means 20-50KB per article and 20-50 articles per MB. Or 20 000-50 000 articles per GB. With comprimation techniques this number could for sure be brought up significantly.

I tried to google the effectivity of text comprimation methods to give a number but could not find how effective the most effective algorithms are but I suppose text is one of the data types that can be compresseded most. However, at least I found an upper limit of 30% of the original size in wich presented a technique that didn't slow down the searching of the text significantly, which would be a good as the material is supposed to be searchable. My guess is that comprimation at least can reduce the size to one tenth, allowing 200-500 articles per MB.

If a suitable solution could be developed that is easy for mobile phone distributors to include in their application package I belive that they would be very willing to do so. What would be needed to do is to develop a mobile version Wikipedia, and choosing what articles are of most importance to include in such an application. The articles would probably differ from region to region. Developing such an application and creating a list for each country/region/language of the top priority articles and convincing mobile phone developers to include such an application in their application package is three steps I belive is possible with a relatively small amount of work. So my three points are:

  • Create an application suitable for mobile phones that can hold a large amount of articles
  • Compile a list of important an well written material for each country/region/language
  • Convince mobile phone developers to depending on which country/region/language it distributes its phone to, to preload these phones with a localized version of the application with the material from the corresponding list.

--Dafer45 08:56, 2 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Searchability of information in cellphone app, in-text search feature

When using a computer to search for information, not only are google's or wikipedias search bars very important to me. So are also the the key combination ctrl+f for quick location of certain words. I think that if Wikipedia is supposed to be provided on cellphones, a similar feature would be very useful there. Especially if the material is supposed to reach people that are less used to read text and would find it very difficult to read through a whole article to find the information they need. So a quick in-text search feature would be a good idea. --Dafer45 12:58, 21 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Indic Languages

It must be free from rendering issues --Naveenpf 19:12, 17 January 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Would you like to expand your comment. Are there some rendering issues that are specific for Indic languages? --Dafer45 19:28, 17 January 2010 (UTC)[reply]