Knowledge from Android

Everyday, questions seem to pop-up in our heads, and most of us immediately turn to Google for the answers. But, now thanks to Wolfram Alpha, finding the answers is even easier.

Wolfram Alpha is an Android application so you should have a phone with Android enabled.

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Basics

Wolfram Alpha, for me is a knowledge engine. A big keyboard loads up on the screen after you launch the application. This keyboard is huge and actually fills up the entire screen, and you are only left with a single line to enter text. Unfortunately, the keyboard does not support sliding or swiping. However, there is still a way to disable this keyboard. Head over to the settings and uncheck “Use Custom Keyboard” option. The keyboard will automatically get a bit smaller.

How does it Work?

After you submit the query, you have to browse through the available answers. The mobile interface gives you input interpretation and therefore you will know whether Wolfram Alpha correctly understood your query or not. Additionally, you will see the related queries as well and you can tap those for detailed information.

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The mobile screen may not be big enough for this, but the app supports graphics as well for appropriate questions. For example, I searched for GDP of Belgium and it not only gave me the answer, but also showed a graph with details of Belgium GDP in last the few years. The graph can be tough to be viewed in a mobile screen (It cannot be zoomed in either), however, for currency related queries; I saw that figures are often automatically converted to my local currency depending on the phone settings. Isn’t this cool?

It’s also easy to get weather details using Wolfram Alpha. In addition, all the units are localized properly with forecasts of future days as well.

Comparison with Google Now

Google recently came up with a similar application called Google Now. Well, this one is good, but I will rate this lower than Wolfram Alpha. Primarily because it does not parse part of queries into a full question like Wolfram Alpha. Secondly, it unnecessary shows maps for certain queries, even when that’s not required in anyway. For example, I tried the same Belgium GDP question in Google Now and I saw Belgium map appear on the screen. Now, tell me why I would want to see Belgium’s map while searching for its GDP? I don’t see any relation at all!

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To be honest my intention with this article was not to make any comparison, but I saw many stating that Wolfram Alpha is outdated after the introduction of Google Now. Well, Google Now is a good tool, but its still not good enough to completely replace Wolfram Alpha.

What do the readers think? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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John House
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Wonderful application. I works like google and wikipedia.

The other day I have found another interesting application.
It is ArkMC. It helps to stream videos from PC to smartphone and from smartphone to TV. I a fan of music and video and this app is

really useful for me.