It is the age of information overload. As a user one wants to break the clutter and consume relevant information on the go without spending too much time. Curating information and producing in consumable form has been an area targeted by quite a few startups. NewsDeck120 is another startup that is curating news and insights from the Internet and providing in audio and video format to users. The twist is that all the information comes in 120 words.
Harsha Mudumby and his friend Venkata Dinesh came together to start NewsDeck120 which has a web and Android app for its users. I opted for the mobile app to start with which was published on the Google store on 21st April, 2014. After downloading the simple app, the home screen looks like as shown below with a sliding screen that has two options.
The fist screen as you can see is asking a user how she wants to consume news depending on the time available. So if you are in a hurry then you would like to tap the 2 min must know stories of the day feature or if you have time to spare then you can tap the last option of 10 minute cover to cover. I clicked on the 2 min must know stories of the day. The below screen grab gives you a quick look of today’s most talked about news.
The 120 word summary provides sharing options as well as the feature to lead to the original source of the story. Besides there is a Quick Wiki feature that allows you to find more details about the people or place associated to the news. For example in the AAP and Congress news the Quick Wiki feature provided a quick round of details about INC, AAP and BJP. Simple and interesting feature if you would like to know more about something.
The second feature on the Home screen – Editor’s Desks which is hand picked content from the editor. Rest of the feature remains same when you tap to read any other article on the app.
This is all you are provided with on the mobile app of NewsDeck120.
The web app has all the features that the mobile app has along with the additional voice based news. Supposedly if you are not in a mood to read the news you can start the audio to listen to the news like an online radio. I preferred reading the news since the voice wasn’t soothing for my ears.
Curation apps, do we need more?
While the design and build of the app is simple and elegant, the big question is do we need news curation apps. There are loads in the market that act like a curation app, personalizing and even providing premium content. Providing news in 120 words could be the app’s USP but then user adoption would be a challenge; this has been the case with similar Indian apps like NewsCo and News In Shorts.
Both NewsCo (review) and News In Shorts (review) curate news in consumable and summarized form. In a conversation with us News In Shorts co-founder Azhar Iqubal had shared that the app which was witnessing 30K plus downloads summarizes news in 60 words.
Give NewsDeck120 a spin and let us know if the 120 word summarized news is exciting and what other features you would prefer in the app.