In the ancient days before Google or Bing or Wikipedia, the Encyclopaedia Britannica was just about the definitive source of information on a wide range of topics. If your family didn't own a set—and they were expensive, so you probably didn't—you could just bicycle down to the library for some help on your school report.
These days, all you have to do is fish around in your pocket. Britannica Concise Encyclopedia 2011, the latest version of the encyclopedia app for both the iPhone and iPad, is now available for download from the App Store. The app gives you offline access to more than 25,000 articles and 2,700 images that cover, in the developer’s words, “just about every aspect of human endeavor”—ranging from art to history to geography and more.
The app also includes an On This Day feature highlighting historic events on the calendar, as well as the ability to share articles via e-mail. In addition, you can look back at the last 100 articles you've viewed. The merely curious can shake their iPhone or iPad, and a random article will appear.
Britannica Concise Encyclopedia 2011 costs $20, and is compatible with devices running iOS 3.0 or later.