Tumblr, Wikipedia overhaul apps for iOS with new looks and features

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Tumblr and Wikipedia released major updates to their iOS apps on Wednesday, revising their look as well as adding a number of features that expand their use and streamline navigation.

Tumblr spruces up graphics, blog creation

Visually the new version of Tumblr has "sticky" search bars and avatars, and a revised iPad interface, more in keeping with recent changes to iPhone design. The company is also promising "more pleasing" loading of GIFs.

Featurewise, users can now create or delete entire blogs from within the app. Added blogs can be assigned images, avatars, and descriptions. For the first time, mobile users can compose posts for third-party blogs that accept submissions.

Other enhancements include the ability filter searches by content type, and create a video post by simply by pasting in a Vimeo or YouTube URL. iOS 8 users can enable a Notification Center widget that shows trending tags.

The app is a free download and requires iOS 7.1.

Wikipedia Mobile improves search, sharing, images

While browsing in portrait orientation, whether on an iPhone or iPad, the 4.1.0 update displays both a lead image and a capsule description at the top of each article. A new image gallery format lets users tap to view an image fullscreen, and swipe left or right to view others for the same subject.

Searches have gained fulltext lookup support and brief descriptions below results. Recommending reading is suggested at the end of articles, and sharing has been simplified with the option to create an image highlighting a portion of text, suitable for posting on social networks.

The Wikipedia app is free and runs on iOS 6.0 or better.