News Digest is another strong Android app from Yahoo that has popped up in some of their other apps in particularly useful places. As the name suggests, News Digest hauls in the day's top stories from recognized sources and in major topic areas.
Every story pulls on multiple sources and provides embedded videos and relevant tweets. There are both tablet and smartphone-optimized apps that serves up the top eight stories in the morning and eight in the evening.
Topics span world, technology, science, sports, entertainment, odd news, business, and national. Write-ups from respected sources like Reuters, BBC, Associated Press and others are meshed elegantly with rich media like Google Maps, video streams, and relevant Wikipedia entries. Photos are displayed in a scrollable filmstrip, and shots can be expanded to full size, zoomed in on, and viewed with a caption. Additional sources either launch into relevant apps or go straight to the web browser.
Though Yahoo News Digest focuses on completeness, making sure you know how many of the stories you've read, when you're done, and when the next one is coming in, you can also dive back into the past week's archives if you missed anything. If you just can't get enough news, there's an Extra News section at the bottom, plus you can switch to international, UK, Canadian, or American digests that might have some different stories.
Once you're done reading, there's a share menu always available at the top that taps into the system-wide apps available, but News Digest still throws its rakish design angle on the pop up window. As is the case with just about every Yahoo app for Android, News Digest enjoys a high amount of visual polish. Story headline images duck away behind the page's text in a nice foreground effect, numbered circles for each story blip in as you ready, UI switches between light and dark themes depending on when the digest comes in, and swiping between stories provides a smooth, sharp transition.
A small home screen widget for News Digest is available which allows users to flip through the issues available and open them with a tap. Notifications can be enabled or disabled for when new ones come in. A few more widgets would be nice, for example one that would let you flip through the stories in the latest edition of the digest.
- Sharp user interface
- High quality content
- Lack of customizability
Yahoo News Digest unifies a lot of disparate information in a really beautiful way. It's a distinctly different experience than what you'd get from, say, Flipboard or a flag-out RSS reader, but it's also more rich than any dedicated single-publication app. News Digest is wise to the limited amount of time available to mobile users, and sets a relatively low, attainable bar to staying informed on a daily basis. Though it's easy to appreciate how well-curated the stories and sources are in News Digest, I certainly would have liked to have more science and technology stories surface to the top, and it would have been nice to enable at least a few more sources or topics that aren't available in my national digest by default.
Yahoo News Digest is an undeniably wonderful reading resource, especially considering it's free and there are zero ads. Pick this up if you want the daily news with minimal fuss.
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