Earlier this year, Google added bottom navigation bars to the Material Design spec. Top navigation tabs are still permitted, but apps like Google Photos and Google+ have prominently switched over to the new style. Wikipedia is now the latest to adopt these bottom navigation bars across its Android app…

The Wikipedia Android app features two distinct bottom bars. On the main page, the bottom bar includes buttons to quickly jump between the Explore feed, reading lists, history, and nearby. Like most other Android apps, Wikipedia previously relied on a navigation drawer to switch between the main sections of the app.

The Google Play Store reviews for this change are quite mixed. The bottom toolbar is inherently more associated with iOS apps and does not work too well with on-screen system navigation buttons. A common complaint is how these elements take up more space, though the bottom bar does auto-hides when scrolling. Personally, I prefer top navigation tabs, like the YouTube app or Twitter.

Version 2.4 also fixes the dark theme in the main screen of the app and makes reading lists searchable. The update is now fully rolled out with the full changelog below:

  • Access your favorite features more easily with bottom navigation: quickly jump between the Explore feed, your reading lists, your recently-viewed articles, and pages nearby you.
  • When reading an article, the bottom toolbar now provides access to the most popular actions (save to reading list, share, change language, find in page, and table of contents).
  • Reading lists and their contents are now searchable.
  • Fixed dark theme in the main screen.

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: