Yahoo updates iOS app with Summly summaries

Yahoo 3.0 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 001)Yahoo 3.0 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 002)

Yahoo last week refreshed its Mail iOS app and released a brand new and beautiful weather software for the iPhone and iPad. In the continuation of its re-newed mobile-first strategy, the search firm this morning updated its iOS client with a summarization technology it snapped up last month for $30 million from UK-based startup Summly, founded by the 17-year-old founder Nick D’Aloisio. Thanks to that acqui-hire, the new Yahoo! version 3.0 software taps Summly natural-language algorithms and machine learning for personalized story summaries…

The revamped software adopts the streamlined visual language we first saw in Yahoo’s updated Mail and Weather apps. The program basically presents you with an endless stream of news tories from a myriad of sources, letting you share articles on Facebook and Twitter, search for stuff on the web and more.

The Summly intelligence plays a big factor as the engine personalizes news stories based on your interests while providing handy story summaries.

“The more you use the app, the more relevant stories you’ll start to see,” Yahoo says.

Yahoo 3.0 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 003)Yahoo 3.0 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 004)

CEO Marissa Meyer took to the company blog to explain why Summly, a “game-changing” technology, is basically Yahoo’s Siri:

The new Yahoo! mobile app is also smarter, using Summly’s natural-language algorithms and machine learning to deliver quick story summaries. We acquired Summly less than a month ago, and we’re thrilled to introduce this game-changing technology in our first mobile application.

In addition to choosing the types of stories you’re interested in, you can further refine your interest by telling the app to show you more of the topics based on the article you’re currently reading.

She also noted the improved search experience includes more accurate results for video and images. Additionally, search preferences are now saved across mobile and desktop devices for logged-in users.

Although D’Aloisio invented the original Summly technology, the actual app was built by SRI International. SRI’s investment arm held equity in Summly prior to the Yahoo deal.

The company is of particular interest because it also backed another startup behind the now well-known Apple feature, the Siri digital personal assistant.

According to D’Aloisio, Summly users have created more than 90 million summaries in the four months before its acquisition.

Yahoo! 3.0 is free to download on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

For the time being, the new version is available only in the United States.