New Yahoo! iOS App Brings Summly Back

Neal Campbell - Author
By

Aug. 23 2017, Updated 1:30 a.m. ET

Although we tech types stopped using Yahoo! years ago, it’s still one of the most popular content sites on the Internet with over 700 million users per month. One of the shifts at Yahoo! since the company hired Marisa Mayer to take over as CEO is a increased focus on mobile.

Today Yahoo! released a new app for iOS devices simply called Yahoo!

In a post on the Yahoo! corporate blog Marissa Mayer introduced the new app calling it beautiful and smart. She revealed that the app includes Summly’s natural-language algorithms and machine learning to deliver quick story summaries.

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“We acquired Summly less than a month ago, and we’re thrilled to introduce this game-changing technology in our first mobile application,” Mayer wrote. “And, with the immersive imagery of our virtually endless newsfeed, the new Yahoo! app has both great technology and beautiful design front and center.”

Yahoo! purchased Summly from 17-year-old founder Nick D’Aloisio for $30 million.

Last week Yahoo! released a Weather app for iOS that truly is beautiful and a pleasure to use. The Weather app uses imagines from Flickr illustrate how the weather looks where you are.

The new Yahoo! App is beautiful in places, but it’s one of the worst iOS apps I’ve ever installed.

Setting up a Yahoo! account so I could customize the app with relevant content was like stepping back in time. It was an annoying and lengthy experience that made me want to scrap writing about it.

Yahoo! required me to enter personal information and a very long captcha code. The first try failed so I had to enter all the information twice. The second try was successful, but Facebook or Twitter authentification would have saved me time and hassel.

After signing up for an account, I had to verify it by going to mail to get a code. Usually when a website has you verify a new signup via mail, you just click a link in the message and you’re verified. Yahoo! made it one step harder by giving me a code I had to cut and paste to complete verification.

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From there I moved on to personalization. I saw that I could connect my Facebook account. Wanting to save time, I did that and it turned out to be a big mistake. Now all the pages I’ve liked on Facebook are determining my news preferences in the Yahoo! app. I like butter, but I don’t really need to hear news about butter.

To change those preferences, the app loads an unresponsive web page. To delete an item, I had to click and X more than once. It was a tedious and unpleasant experience.

Scrolling through news stories in visual mode on the new app is really its only redeeming quality. It has beautiful scrolling animation where the background image moves at a different speed than the text overlay.

I absolutely recommend downloading Yahoo!’s new Weather app. Try the Yahoo! app too if you have time to kill. It killed about an hour for me.

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