I learned about a new Android app, Yahoo News Digest, listening to All About Android last week, and I have to say that I think it is a very nice app. It gets high marks from me for its user interface and functionality.
An interesting aspect of Yahoo News Digest is how it follows the traditional news publishing cycle. Yahoo editors pick seven stories that they publish to the app in the morning and evening each day. You can quickly scroll through the list of article titles and tap the ones that you want to read further. If you want to see more than seven stories, there is a Read More News button at the bottom of the top seven article list that displays another 11 titles.
The app makes nice use of pictures with the stories and also includes snippets and links to additional background information, including related Tweets. Each story also includes a list of references. Unlike Google News that has an algorithm to pick top news stories as they gain popularity on the Internet, Yahoo News Digest appears to me to be edited by humans, and I suspect its managed as part of Yahoo’s broad news offerings.
Many people who use the Internet as their primary source of news will dislike the idea of only receiving updates twice a day and relying on others to pick what they think is the important news for them to read. Yet, many others find the amount of news on the Internet overwhelming, and for those people Yahoo News Digest will be much more useful.
Yahoo News Digest is competing in the mobile Internet news market with Circa, which has a similar model of human editing and publishing of snippets of news articles. Circa is different in that it publishes updates throughout the day and provides a way for user to mark developing stories they want to follow for which the app provides notifications whenever there are updates to stories one follows.
Just like in the days when one may have subscribed to multiple newspapers in order to get a broader range news with different styles of reporting, I think it may be useful for one to use both Circa and Yahoo News Digest. Still, Twitter and Google News will probably remain the best at providing breaking news as it occurs simply because of the high volume of sources these sites provide.