You may remember the story of the teenager Nick d'Aloisio who sold his mobile news aggregation app Summly to Yahoo! in 2013 for a reported $30m. I remember trying out Summly at the time and thinking that it was OK, but not exactly earth-shattering. Well, two years on Summly has become Yahoo News Digest, which really is rather special. Here's a description from the App store (there's an Android version as well).
Yahoo News Digest provides a definitive summary of all the important, need-to-know news. Digests are delivered twice a day - once in the morning and once in the evening. All the top stories are summarized and presented with the key information that you need to stay on top of what’s happening.
Each story is created from multiple sources to present the essential bits and pieces of information, known as “Atoms”. Atoms are key quotes, images, videos, stock tickers, maps, infographs, and Wikipedia excerpts among others. These atomic units provide a unique context to the news. Our stories are both algorithmically and hand curated to ensure high quality, and come with a textual summary.
Yahoo News Digest makes your reading experience comprehensive, effortless, and complete, and is customized for both iPhone and iPad. If you get your News Digest on an iPad, you’ll also enjoy a weekly Katie Couric video show, the ability to customize when you receive your news and, in the US edition, extra news categories called Sections which include atomized stories on a whole range of topics.
If all that sounds impressive, it actually is. And, of course, it's absolutely brilliant for learners of English who can have accessible news stories delivered straight to their mobile devices. There are lots of ways that teachers could use this app with their students too. For example, getting students to research different stories and then present them in their own words in groups. And, of course, it's free!