Apps of Note – Yahoo News Digest
In recent years Yahoo has been in the midst of a brand shift. They changed everything from their leadership to their logo. The company that was the “Google” of its day, has been looking for a way to get our attention, especially on our smartphones and tablets. They released a Weather App, which I also highly recommend. That app took advantage of the finger swiping we’ve all grown accustomed to on our hand-held devices. I’ve been using Yahoo weather since the day it was released. When I heard that Yahoo was releasing a News App, I was pretty excited to see if they could give me a similar experience, but this time instead of the 10 day forecast or storm warnings, they would give me a dose of the daily news. In my opinion, they certainly delivered.
Do you like to be informed on the daily news without feeling the need to become a news-junkie? Do you prefer your news to come in a package that you can knock out in five minutes flat? Then I’ve got the app for you. It’s called the “Yahoo News Digest”.
The real genius of the Yahoo News Digest is you get the amount of news you want, which can be a quick glance, or an in-depth read. It’s up to you how far you want to dig. When you open the app, you get a list of 7-12 news stories stacked for a quick scroll through vertically. Each story is categorized (World, US News, Politics, Arts, Science, Entertainment, etc.). If you just want to see the high level news, one swipe and you’re done. Just the headlines and sentence or two. To go another level in, just tap which ever story you want to read and a short news article appears. Swipe up and down and you can read the article. Swipe left and right and you’ll be jumping through each of
the articles you had in the main screen. It’s fast!
Each article includes links to larger news stories, or relevant articles to consider for further reading. Once you’ve read all the articles available, you get a “Did you Know” fact that is related to the day or one of the articles you’ve just finished. It doesn’t take long to quickly scan through all the content, which is saying something in the world of the never-ending news cycle.
The Digest is delivered twice a day, and you set the time you want to receive it. My morning digest comes at 7am, and my evening one at 6pm. Finally the app has all the standard social networking links, so if you want to tweet about an article, post it to your Facebook wall, or email it to a friend, the buttons are right there for your clicking pleasure.
The Cup Half Empty
The Yahoo News Digest is intended to be a “twice a day news” resource. If you want up-to-the-minute breaking news stuff, the Digest will not suit your needs. I put that as a “half empty” element, though for me, I like that it doesn’t constantly update with new information. Once I’ve read my 10 articles, I’m done till the next Digest is delivered.
You also have basically no control over what news you receive. Most news apps have a lot of customization built into them. Not interested in Kim Kardashian and the Hollywood crowd? Just turn of the “entertainment news” and you’re good to go. That’s not an option with the Yahoo News Digest. Though I’ve never seen a Kardashian article yet, so that’s good. Everyone gets the same “paper” for every daily edition, and for many that could be seen as a bad thing, in an age where we like everything customized for us.
The Whole Cup Summed Up
The Yahoo News Digest is trying to do something very specific. Provide two daily doses of relevant news for the masses. The interface is clean and easy to use. The tap and swipe approach makes this app great for people just getting into smart phone and tablets. The ability to read stories quickly, but also dig deeper into the “in-depth” elements is great for a news-junkie like me.
But at the same time, Yahoo’s “one size fits all” approach to the app will certainly frustrate some users who want to only see news about things they are interested in. If that’s you, I recommend checking out “SmartNews”, which take news customization to a crazy place, and is also one of my go-to news apps that I use every single day.
I really like the Yahoo News Digest and think that it truly is news for masses. It’s the daily and evening paper of yester-year in a cool new package. So stay informed without the distraction of news apps that consume time and attention. Because it’s much better to experience the world than read about it.