Wibbitz Is an Amazing New Visual Take on News
The amount of new and unique ways to consume news that keep popping up have made everyone grow tired of news consumption apps in general. I’m not going to bother discussing Google Reader anymore so let us look into the future. Apps like Flipboard, Google Currents and Pulse have changed the way most people get news on their mobile devices. All those apps have one thing in common. They all rely on reading the news material or text content. Now there are podcasts like Myke Hurley’s The News on 5by5 but Wibbitz completely blew me away.
Wibbitz, the app, is a showcase of the company’s Wibbitz (are you confused yet?) technology that repackages text content into wonderfully illustrated audio visual summaries. Everything from the app launch to the interface sounds in Wibbitz have been done brilliantly. You plug in your headphones and tap the play button and you are good to go. By default the app takes you to the top news section and you can tap at any time to reveal the controls for the video. The app will read out the headlines with a slideshow going on in the background. To watch a video, slide up on that headline. There’s an amazing animation for when you slide up and the small blur arrow slowly moves into the tray below. The audio visual summaries are full of big bold headlines and infographics. When a place is mentioned in the article being read out to you a map is shown. If a person is mentioned there’s a photo of the person along with a title card below. It is almost scary how good the video turns out. I was watching a Nokia news article (yes that still sounds weird) and when Microsoft was mentioned, a nicely synced image slid in at the appropriate time. The hamburger button on the top takes you to the menu that slides down and as you have probably noticed, navigation within the app happens by vertical swiping. You can add more news topics from here.
Wibbitz does exactly what is advertises and it does it well. You are informed of top news stories within minutes and because of the way you get the information, it usually sticks. The app does a wonderful job. It launched a month ago and has a few different news sources that you can add by tapping the + button inside a category on a source. They have a publishers section as well. The only thing I don’t really like right now is the voice used because in some articles it doesn’t feel natural. Wibbitz is available for free on the App Store.