Wikimedia mobile engineering

The Wikimedia Mobile Engineering team (part of the Wikimedia engineering department) was responsible for creating, growing, and evolving how the diverse set of Wikimedia projects use mobile technologies. This was done through a diverse set of teams and projects focusing on mobile web, iOS and Android apps, and Wikipedia Zero.




  • Mobile web works primarily on Mobile Frontend, a MediaWiki extension providing a mobile web front-end to MediaWiki sites including Wikipedia. The mobile interface of a Wikimedia project can be reached by visiting (where X is the name of a Wikimedia project).
  • Mobile Apps. The Mobile Apps team is currently working on native Wikipedia reading and editing apps for iOS and Android.
  • Wikipedia Zero. This team partners with mobile carriers throughout the world to provide zero-rated Wikipedia (free of data charges) in developing areas.


  • Mobile support for other product work:
  • Mobile first design: mobile web and apps represent both new contexts, and new sets of users where we can create new features from a mobile first perspective. These features will have simpler design - emphasizing easier and more structured workflows.
  • Porting existing features to mobile: this includes reader facing, editor facing, and admin facing features that currently exist on the desktop site.


An Open Letter to Wikipedia by the students of Sinenjongo High School.
  • Wikipedia Zero is an initiative of the Wikimedia Foundation to enable mobile access to Wikipedia free of data charges in developing countries. The objective of the program is to reduce barriers to accessing free knowledge—one of the largest barriers being cost of data usage. The Wikipedia Zero initiative is based on partnerships with mobile phone operators, whereby the operator agrees to deploy a version of Wikipedia in such a way that their users do not need to pay for data access. Follow the Wikimedia Q&A Page and the Wikipedia Zero blog for detailed information on the project. Follow our developments in this project, here.
  • The Wikipedia S40 J2ME app is designed for use on features phones (primarily Nokia Series 40) that enables efficient reading of Wikipedia. Despite the fact that J2ME is a dying platform for mobile apps, it is still prevalent in many parts of the world on a wide variety of feature phones. Recent feedback from mobile operators in India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America indicate a high preference for a J2ME app over Android apps and browser-based experiences.
  • Wikipedia Over SMS and USSD: This project aims at providing access to Wikipedia over SMS and USSD using an open source project called Vumi.

Other projects

Project Description Status
Open Street Map OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a collaborative project to create a free editable map of the world. Status
Mobile support in MediaWiki core Building native mobile device support in MediaWiki by porting critical components of Extension:MobileFrontend to core and building additional functionality as needed. Status
Mobile default for sister projects Migrating our sister projects to default to their own mobile interfaces. Status



Get involved


Readers and editors

  • Report any issues you encounter casually browsing to our feedback list.
  • Become a Wikimedia beta tester and try out new features.
  • Help us expand our currently set of tested browsers.
  • Test the Wikimedia mobile projects in the languages you know and report any issues. This might be by helping us write browser tests, PHPUnit tests or QUnit tests.
  • Help translate the mobile user interface and apps by volunteering at translatewiki.
  • Promote the mobile projects among your friends and Wikimedia fellows through Twitter, Facebook and other social networking tools.
  • Browse not only Wikipedia but our sister sites on mobile and send us feedback.
  • Try the app for: iOS, Android, or BlackBerry.
  • Check the App Catalog to find more mobile apps developed by third parties that rely on Wikimedia content.
  • Help us brain storm what features you need most on mobile.





The mobile team runs an agile ship.

Useful links:

Contact us