Summly, an iOS app launching today, is aimed at those who are looking to quickly digest the day's news. Their angle in a crowded news curation market, is to to eliminate scrolling from news apps by intelligently reducing stories to a length of one page view.
Summly, in summary, yanks articles from a curated list of outlets and reduces their articles to summaries. The automated process isn't perfect, but it works well enough to get the point of the article across, which is the point after all. The focus on eliminating scrolling comes from the creator, Nick D'Aloisio, a seventeen-year-old wunderkind. In an interview with The Verge he said, "The idea of scrolling is horrific." Cutting through the hyperbole, scrolling on a mobile device is often used to navigate content that is far from optimized for the small screen. Summly's purpose then, is to speed up news consumption in a native mobile environment. The interface reflects this. The next story is summoned by a swipe to the side. Pressing on the story unfolds various sharing options and swiping downward forsakes the scrolling abolition and brings the entire article into view.
Summly's weakness is what it leaves outside its control. When the app cuts an article to only a few hundred characters, the news loses much of its context. This leaves Summly reliant on a quality headline or pre-existing user knowledge to provide proper context for their news summaries. For now, the app produces more hits than misses. Summly is free on the app store for the entire range of devices that support iOS 5.0 and up.
Via The Verge