Sport & Auto
- About Future
- Digital Future
- Cookies Policy
- Terms & Conditions
- Investor Relations
- Contact Future
With a 24/7 news cycle constantly spitting headlines every which way, staying informed can be a daunting task. A bunch of apps have tried to solve this problem in unique ways, but the better they are, the quicker they seem to get acquired, shut down, and folded into other services. Wibbitz just might be the next candidate for a headline-grabbing mega-sale. With a delightful interface and spot-on article summaries, Wibbitz creates beautiful mini-videos of the day's news, combining photos, graphics, and fonts into a stunning package.
Like most apps that condense the daily happenings, your selection of news is very customizable, with topics ranging from the usual general categories to more specific content from ESPN and The Verge. The very animated interface is almost entirely gesture-driven, and there's a playfulness that livens up even the dullest of topics. Once you select the news you want to see, a new headline will slide across your screen every few seconds, read by a Siri impersonator (with a random accent) and accompanied by a Ken Burns-styled picture. It can be a tad distracting, but the photo usually does an excellent job of summing up the main subject of the article.
A swipe up on any headline starts video playback, and a second swipe brings you to the source article. The same robotic voice reads through the clip, and while it got most of the words right, it messed up the pronunciation of several people and places in our testing. The conversational tone and inflection sounded surprisingly natural, however, and we mostly enjoyed the minute-long clips, at times forgetting we were listening to a computerized voice.
Wibbitz’s algorithm creates very entertaining videos, with simple animations, bold fonts that spotlight quotes and key phrases, and photos that constantly change in sync with the article. New stories appear very quickly, though the time stamp is often inaccurate. We found the watch gesture to be somewhat unintuitive, though, and we continuously tried tapping headlines to start videos. It would also be great to share videos without our friends needing to download the app first.
The bottom line. If you don’t have time to actually read the news, Wibbitz will keep you informed and entertained.
iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 6.0 or later
Fun, animated interface. Excellent video summaries of the day's top stories. Good range of news topics.
Robotic voice had trouble with some pronunciations. Moving photos can be distracting. Unintuitive gesture for watching videos.