Wibbitz is a free innovative news-reader app for iPhone that creates a video summary of text articles from major news outlets. It features political, sports, business, technology, and entertainment news providers such as CNN, BBC, Huffington Post, FOX, TMZ, and Sports Illustrated. Some specific local outlets such as the Jerusalem Post, UK Telegraph and Korea News are also available. The app summarizes the text and images in the articles into videos between one and two minutes long.

Compared to reading news articles on an iPhone, this helpful app provides a practical, enjoyable news experience. For anyone who wants to stay informed of current events, the app provides a significantly less cumbersome method. This video illustrates how well the text and references to people and places in the articles are transformed to brief videos “providing a ‘lean back’ video solution that works infinitely better on a smaller mobile screen”.

Certainly useful from an accessibility perspective, users who need it can enjoy having the news read aloud without the need to learn VoiceOver navigation. Extremely understandable, well-paced and clear voices read the content. The videos intelligently interpret dates, world leaders, photos and animated graphics contained in the articles.

The app does not have a specific iPad version, but the developer is expanding the app to all devices and platforms. Wibbitz performed very well in testing with an iPad 2.

As you enter the app, the main menu shows Top News and other categories like Markets Overview and Technology. At the bottom the “Add More” button brings you to the content menu, from which you can choose a category like politics. Within the politics menu, you will see different news providers such as LA Times, AP, and FOX. Adding a provider makes it display back on the main menu.

Super simple navigation and layout make the app efficient:

  • Tap a content provider to display the available articles. Swipe left or right to navigate between articles.
  • Swipe up to play an article. A blue bar at the top displays the progress of the article.
  • Tap an article and four icons display: pause, share (by Mail, Facebook or Twitter), exit, and the menu.
  • The menu icon brings you back to list of news providers. The exit button brings you back to list of articles.
  • Swipe up again to see the original article.
  • Swipe down to exit a video or news category.
  • Swipe a news provider to the left to display the trash can icon and delete it.

Though obviously very handy, the app currently lacks settings for which voice and rate of speech are used. The developer indicated that the ability to add and customize any news source is in the very near future.

As an avid consumer of news articles, I will definitely be taking advantage of this free app!  I highly recommend you try this convenient tool. You can get it from the App Store for free.