A month ago, Yahoo! acquired iOS app startup Summly and have managed to integrate many of the features of that software into their new app update. We’ve seen big companies buy smaller software development companies that show promise, only to never see anything tangible from the purchase. That’s certainly not the case with Yahoo! as evidenced by today’s update.
If you are unfamiliar with Summly, its purpose is to refine news delivery. It does so by incorporating beautiful imagery with advanced algorithms to show the most important parts of a story. Stories are shown in a constant stream. To read the entirety of a story, you simply double-tap. With the imagery taking over the iPhone display, it makes for a very visual and fluid experience, for the most part. Some images don’t naturally lend themselves well to the interface, as noted by this story regarding Reese Witherspoon. At this time, there is a certain level of inconsistency in the app, with only some showing summaries.
The summarized, visual approach to news provides for a nice, fresh coat a paint to the Yahoo! app. The old version, while quite popular, has garnered mediocre reviews since its time in the App Store. Oddly enough, the new Summly integration, is not turn on by default. Users need to tap on the menu icon and set Visual to ‘Yes’. Just last week, Yahoo! introduced a new weather app for iPhone that showcases images from Flickr.
Yahoo! is available as a free download from the App Store.