The internet is full of content related to any subject imaginable, and to effectively find what you’re looking for, you must possess the skill of navigating your way through all the fluff out there. If there is a really lengthy article online, most of us formulate a gist of it by skimming through parts of the text. TLDR Reader is based on a similar concept, and offers summaries of the best news stories from around the web. Users can personalize news sources and entire categories. It is also possible to easily find articles that are similar to a given story. The best feature of TLDR Reader is its built-in web browser, which can be used to create a summary of any webpage you want. The app even offers the choice of the summary’s default length.
TLDR Reader comes up with a detailed graphic tutorial when it is launched for the first time. By default, all categories and sources are active, but you can customize the main page by hitting the gear icon in bottom bar. The settings menu has options for muting a particular source or even an entire category, letting you filter out stuff you wouldn’t be interested in. There is no way of adding new sources or categories to TLDR Reader though, which is quite disappointing. The settings section also lets you specify the number of posts that simultaneously appear in each genre.
Inside every news category, you will see the headlines of all the recent and top stories. Tap the heading once to read its summary, or swipe across the summary to view other articles similar to it. This can also be achieved via the ‘Find More’ button. You can easily switch back to the original article list while viewing similar ones by using the two looking-glass icons. Another option available with each summary is ‘Open Original’, which provides the only way of opening the web browser in TLDR Reader.
Once a post has been opened in the app’s browser, you can use its address bar to open any webpage. The browser is pretty minimal, with refresh, back and forward buttons available in the bottom bar. The ‘tldr’ button is the one that makes the real magic happen, summarizing the current page as soon as you hit it. There are four views offered by TLDR Reader: ‘summary’, ‘short’, ‘medium’ and ‘long’. Only the long version includes images and links, while all others have nothing but text.
TLDR Reader is available for both Android and iOS as a free download. The summaries don’t always feature the most important points of an article, but are generally enough to give the a basic idea of the article. You can give the app a try by heading to the links provided below.