Consuming news is a large part of our day. Think aboutit: when you aren’t consuming news and information through television, you are consuming it online. When doing so online, you are open to having news led toward one direction or another with a lot of fluff added for good measure. Clipped, at its current stage, prevents this by bringing news straight to the point (technically in three bullet points), thus changing the way you consume news. Clipped has larger plans that we will discuss a bit more later, but first, let’s go into what Clipped is and how it currently helps you.

What is Clipped?

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Calling Clipped an application or program wouldn’t necessarily be accurate. While it is currently expressed in the form of an iPhone application, calling it an app would be as accurate as calling Google an app because it has a Google Chrome iPhone app. Clipped is more of a platform, or algorithm as Clipped says, that takes the text at hand and summarizes it into exactly three bullet points. However, how it works is a bit more than this.

How Does it Work?

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Currently, due to how Clipped makes use of digital news articles, Clipped takes a grammar algorithm that scans the article, grabbing the important information that recurs in the article, and incorporating it into three bullet points on the application. As more and more articles are summarized in the application, the power of Clipped increases, and its accuracy also improves. Recently, Clipped celebrated its one millionth article summarized on the application.

When Clipped grows into other aspects (more in Clipped’s Future Plans), other means of summarization will take hold.

How Does it Look?

The application is simple in design, which prevents it from being distracting and also allows you to focus more on the article at hand. When you first open Clipped, you are asked to sign up using Twitter or Facebook. When I open it even after signing in to either service, I continue to see this pop up as well (going away after a couple of seconds).

Clipped_1After signing in, you are presented with the news of the day. At the top, you have a search bar allowing you to search based on a subject, and there’s a logout button on the left side of the search bar. When clicking on a specific article, you are presented with a larger view of the related image, the title, the source, and a share button above the three bulleted text. When you click to share a Clipped article, a Facebook or Twitter prompt pops up allowing you to share.

Clipped’s Future Plans

You can currently find Clipped on iOS, Android, as a Bookmarklet, and on Google Chrome. However, in the near future, Clipped hopes to branch out to document issues in real life. This can include making use of OCR (Optical Character Reading) to grab the text and summarize it that way. This takes a more advanced algorithm and will be a bit more difficult to implement that what Clipped is currently working on, but this future plan will allow the service to be used in everything from legal documents to newspaper text.

Opinions and Suggestions

Clipped is a great application that I have made use of since its debut in December. The ability to not only summarize news, but also discover and read news articles I normally wouldn’t have taken the time out to read has kept me informed on several issues as well.

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There are a couple of pitfalls in Clipped, however, namely that there isn’t as much customization in terms of which articles I am able to enjoy. For example, when I search a website, not only does content from that website appear, but articles on other websites about that specific source shows up as well.

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When searching for general topics, like Apple, search results are more successful. This is likely to change in the future, when information on Clipped becomes more varied and readily available. All in all, for such an advanced concept, this is a great start for Clipped to compete with the larger competitors in the information consumption field.

Disclaimer: Tanay Tandon, the sole developer behind Clipped, developed the application through the Teens in Tech Incubator in Mountain View, CA. I currently work as the editorial director for Teens in Tech. All views expressed in this review of Clipped are my own, unaffected by any ulterior motive or confidential information.

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