By Jim Karpen on Thu, 01/09/2014
I like news apps, and Yahoo has just recently released Yahoo News Digest (free), which is one I'm definitely going to be using. There's already a plethora of news apps, but this one has two distinguishing characteristics. First, there are just two daily editions, one in the morning and one in the evening—unlike other news apps that tend to be updated throughout the day with random bits of news. The advantage of just having two editions is that it's a true summary of the most important news, not simply the latest news across the wire. A second distinguishing characteristic is that the news is curated. An algorithm helps assemble the news, but the news summary is also curated by hand. I like that. One reason I still enjoy newspapers and magazines is that they present curated content: I feel confidant my time will be used more efficiently, since someone has organized the content beforehand. It's not as frenetic as the stream of news items that come across a typical web-based news service.
According to the app description, each news story is created from multiple sources, and combines a range of elements: key quotes, images, videos, stock tickers, maps, infographs, Wikipedia excerpts, and more. This helps give context for the news.
Another reason I like this app is the back story. Yahoo News Digest appears to be based on an app named Summly that was developed by teenager Nick D'Aloisio in the UK. He is the youngest person to receive a round of venture capital, which he secured at the age of 15. He was so mature, and his app had so much potential, that investors were eager to toss money his way. The app was a big success, and last year in March, at the ripe age of 17, he sold the app to Yahoo for $30 million. Not bad for a teenager. Now 18 years old, he's a project manager at Yahoo. You can read his description of Yahoo News Digest on the Yahoo Blog. He writes, "Yahoo News Digest delivers the most important news twice a day, right to your mobile device. Our Digests provide a definitive summary of all the need-to-know news so you can stay on top of what’s happening."
Note that the app is currently only tailored for the iPhone. No doubt they'll be coming out with a native iPad app soon.