The always popular Encyclopedia Britannica is now available to keep in the palm of your hand, with the news that a Windows Phone version of the app is available for download and fully updated for the year 2012. Primarily living online so as to avoid filling your phone’s internal storage, the app also features an offline viewing mode for those occasions when Wi-Fi or a 3G data connection just isn’t as forthcoming as we would like.

Priced at a reasonable $4.99, the app carries on a long tradition of the Encyclopedia Britannica being associated with Windows-based platforms. Those old enough to remember the dawn of multimedia computing will remember Encyclopedia Britannica coming on a collection of CDs for the PC. Complete with real video clips and colorful images, the app arguably ushered in a new wave of multimedia applications.

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Fast forward to today though, and the app is almost redundant. The advent of the Internet, along with the likes of Google and of course Wikipedia, have left encyclopedias in both paper and digital flavors to be something that we simply do not use anymore. A shame? Of course. Likely to change? Not really.

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That said, the Encyclopedia Britannica app for Windows Phone features 80,000 articles and is fully searchable which should make finding the information you need as easy as possible. Images, diagrams and charts are also included in the app, as is the ability to download articles for viewing offline. The app itself does usually require a data connection in order to work, so offline viewing is a feature that is not to be sniffed at.

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If you’re not already fully indoctrinated into the ways of Google and Wikipedia, and prefer to have your information all in one place and easily accessible, then Encyclopedia Britannica is no doubt well worth your five dollars. If you’re truly living in the future though, we suspect the internet is all the encyclopedia you need. It really is a shame, especially for those of us who grew up learning from CDs full of grainy videos and out of date text articles.

That’s progress for you.

Download Encyclopedia Britannica for Windows Phone [Marketplace link]

(via WMPowerUser)

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