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Exclusive News Sci-Tech

Summly: UK teenager launches top-selling news app

London, Nov 4 (): Summly, a news app is designed by a 17-year-old Londoner Nick D’Aloisio, while he is still at school studying for his GCSEs.

Nick D’Aloisio hails from London and just turned 17 on 2nd November.  The teenager took a year off school to develop Summly, an iOS app that summarizes news stories using an algorithm. The app shot to the ninth slot in the App Store and has received over $1,000,000 in funding within two hours of being released.

D’Aloisio started writing apps in 2008 when he was 12, and raised the first round of $250,000 venture capital funding from Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka Shing’s Horizons Ventures three years later.

Summly started life as an app called Trimit coded by D’Aloisio himself, but after further investment from Horizon Ventures, was later relaunched as Summly in beta version in December 2011. A beta release in late December provided valuable feedback, but now it is getting a full launch on iPhone.

Free to download, Summly’s pocket-sized app summarizes existing news stories and sews them into a fast, easy-to-browse window. “We worked hard on an interface that looks like nothing else on iPhone,” D’Aloisio told.

Summly comes with a selection of preset topics, including US news, technology, sports, world news, and so on. There is a lot to like about the app: it is simple, initiative, fast, clean and extremely well designed. The pre-packaged categories such as sports, entertainment, business, politics and technology are represented by large color blocks. Although the summaries are generated by algorithms, they have a natural kind of flow to them.

Using an artificial intelligence algorithm, Summly pulls in news articles from hundreds of sources on the internet, and then extracts the key points and provides the user with a 400-character summary.

Nick D’Aloisio said that he wants to “dramatically improve the mobile news reading experience” with his free Summly app. D’Aloisio says that the original version of Summly was “more of a demo,” but that Summly 2.0 is a mass market app.

Nick now wants to finish his education and go to a university for higher studies. However he will remain involved with the company he built.