Editions by AOL iPad app promises to read its readers


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AOL wants Editions, the latest news-aggregating app for Apple’s iPad, to be ‘the magazine that reads you.’

Sound a bit creepy? The ‘reads you’ part doesn’t mean that Editions will take over your front-facing camera. The emphasis here is on personalization and learning what a reader likes and doesn’t like.


And with personalization in mind, Editions is looking to stand out from other news-reading apps such as Pulse, Flipboard, Zite and others that deliver news from across the Web to Apple’s tablet (and other phones and tablets), in a more reader-friendly format.

To do this, AOL is employing algorithms in Editions that decide where to place stories inside the app by what it deems as important to each specific reader, essentially building a magazine of stories each day from online news sources.

Using what a reader self-identifies as their interests, as well as outside trends such as what is rising to the top of the froth on Twitter that day, stories will appear toward the front of the app’s digital magazine, or rear, and be given more, or less, page real estate.

The idea is to sort of re-create the work done by editors and designers at newspapers and magazines, who lay out a publication and place stories to communicate to the reader what’s most important in any given printed issue. It’s just that Editions is using software to do this, not human editors.

‘Every morning, at a time of your choosing, you’ll receive a unique 30- to 40-page magazine tailored to your interests,’ AOL said in a statement. ‘Editions replicates some of the features that make magazines fun to read, including beautiful pages, images and layout, and fast and easy page turning. Every Edition has a cover, a list of top articles and a final page that features your daily horoscope.’

The app offers up news sorted into 16 different sections, which readers can put in any order they’d like (or leave out), such as Top News, Tech, Business, Family, Health & Fitness, Sports, Entertainment, Music and Travel.

Like Zite, a reader can flag which stories she or she likes and doesn’t like, which then affects what news Editions serves up.

And, of course, anything a reader finds delivered to their Editions app can be shared to Facebook and Twitter from within the app.

Editions, like its competitors, is a free download.


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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Images: Screenshots of Editions by AOL for Apple’s iPad. Credit: AOL / Apple