This week’s app of the week is one that you’ll be particularly interested in if you want to stay informed but don’t have time to read the news on a regular basis; it’s called News Digest and it comes from Yahoo! The idea behind it (like most news apps) is to provide you with a short summary of the current top news stories across a variety of subjects. What separates News Digest from everyone else though is that Yahoo! don’t want you to be checking your phone every two minutes – instead they only update the app twice a day, once in the morning, once in the evening.
The stories that you end up with are selected both by an algorithm and by Yahoo! news editors (exactly how this works I’m not sure, but that’s how they’ve described it). Seven headlines are displayed in a list on the home screen of the app, with an image of only the main, or number one, story from that digest. Tap on the headline to see the full articles these are made up from text, images, graphs and live twitter streams plus links to get more information about each story. You can swipe left and right within each article to switch between them or navigate back to the home screen to see the list view again.
At the bottom of the list is an indicator to show you which of the top seven stories you’ve read, tapping on the icon next to this will bring up a calendar to show you what you’ve read over the last month – quite a neat feature but I’m not sure really what the point of it is. Pull the screen down even further and you’ll get a further list of stories from the day. Navigate to the top of the main screen and you are presented with the last few days of ‘digests’ and a countdown to when you can expect to receive the next one.
We’re big fans of apps that make it easier to stay up to date and this is certainly a very useful tool. That’s not to say it going to replace the Guardian app on my homescreen any time soon but I can certainly see it being a useful addition for checking up on the news while I eat my bowl of granola in the mornings.