Clipped Summarizes the News in a Blink

I read news for a living. Contrary to what you might believe, it isn’t all wine and roses. It’s more like tired eyes and coffee overdoes on a daily basis. The vocational challenge of needing not just to find the latest news, but also to summarize and digest it, keeps me on the lookout for any new tool that might help me work smarter (which does lead to faster, btw). I stumbled on Clipped today and it isn’t just cool because of what it does but also but also because of who made it.

Clipped is the brainchild of Tanay Tandon—who happens to be 15. A smart 15 year old with a pretty interesting challenge. Tanay is also a debater and he needed/wanted a tool to give his team an edge in competition, so he created one. The result is Clipped. Using the iPhone app, Android app, Chrome plugin, or bookmarlet (which I’m wondering how well it might work on my iPad), you just visit an article you’d like a summary of, tap, and like magic you get a pretty good set of bullet points. Here is the beginning of an interview with Fast Company:

Tanay Tandon apologized for not being able to meet in person for our interview. “I don’t have a ride,” he explained.

Tandon is 15. He can be forgiven for not even having found time to get a learner’s permit this year. Between debate and tennis and hangouts with friends, not to mention class, most of Tandon’s spare time has been poured into his app, Clipped, which he released just before New Year’s.

Clipped uses an algorithm of Tandon’s devising (a patent is pending) to extract key information from news articles or other pieces of writing, distilling these tidbits into bullet points. It’s being billed by some as a Flipboard competitor, but it has grander aspirations than that. Really, it’s something of a research-assistant competitor, or Congressional-aide competitor, or judicial-clerk competitor–or at any rate, it could be. If the problem Tandon is working on were ever truly hacked (first reviews online appear somewhat mixed, and Tandon is the first to acknowledge the app isn’t perfect), computers could essentially do a lot of our reading, or at least our skimming, for us.

Via Fast Company

Yeah, couldn’t meet in person because he couldn’t get a ride. That puts this amazing app into perspective. Regardless I took the Chrome extension for a spin on a couple articles here and I thought they hit the mark. First the post about AT&T’s Q4 results teaser:

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And then for something completely different the clear case mod for the iPhone 5:

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Both are pretty good. Now if you use the iPhone app, you log in with either Twitter or Facebook (not both) and get a summary of news presumedly from the people you follow:

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Completely different view, but the summaries make sense to me.

Tanay admit the app isn’t perfect and it doesn’t handle opinion piece very well right now, but that’s in the works for later. My take is this is a handy app (it is free, by the way) that could save you a couple minutes getting the gist of a long press release or information post.

If nothing else, it’s an impressive app that will certainly get more attention in the future as it improves.

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