British teen’s Summly app reborn as Yahoo News Digest
Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer unveiled a handful of new web services at CES 2014.
Top of the list was Yahoo News Digest, a news summary app targeted at the “too long, didn’t read” generation.
News Digest, available on the iPhone and iPod Touch, stems from Yahoo’s acquisition of Summly, which was built by British/Australian teenager Nick D’Alosio. Yahoo picked up the app for a reported £19 million, making the then 17 year old the company’s youngest paid employee.
The new app fuses multiple news stories into a single article, giving readers a speedy summary of the day’s headlines. “They can scan the Summly summary, as well as read units of information called ‘Atoms’, which provide context to each story, including maps, infographics, videos, photos and more,” the company said.
Mayer also announced Yahoo’s acquisition of Aviate, an “intelligent homescreen” app that gives smart notifications based on the user’s location and other information – much like Google Now.
“What if your phone suggested music and map apps when you got in your car or fitness apps when you got into the gym?” said Mayer.
Yahoo has also bulked out its online presence with two dedicated food and tech websites, and tweaked its ad offering.
Mayer stayed quiet on recent controversies at Yahoo, namely that ads on its European sites spread malware and a major outage at Yahoo Mail.
Behind the scenes, however, the company appears to have fulfilled its promise to start beefing up security across its services.
Yahoo’s senior vice president of communication products, Jeff Bonforte, said the company had now enabled HTTPS encryption for all Mail users.
“Any time you use Yahoo Mail – whether it’s on the web, mobile web, mobile apps, or via IMAP, POP or SMTP – it is 100% encrypted by default and protected with 2,048 bit certificates,” he wrote. “This encryption extends to your emails, attachments, contacts, as well as Calendar and Messenger in Mail.”
Yahoo promised in October to shore up encryption across its services after revelations of spying by the US government.