iOS gets personal, news-reading butler app, Winston

What would you get if you tried making iPhone’s favourite voice assistant Siri read out the news to you every morning? It would be this little app called Winston for iOS.

Going through all your various feeds and news sources from applications is a tough task and there are multiple apps that claim to help you with it. Winston claims to impart the same kind of help, but a tad differently.

Winston for iOS skims through your feeds, aggregates the news that you may be interested in and then proceeds to read it out to you in an impeccable electronic English accent. How delightful, indeed. This new iOS app is actually a second build of Winston that follows a ‘sneak-peek’ with more channels across social networking websites.


The app is intuitive and fun

The app is intuitive and fun


Winston, also referred to as Siri’s little brother (or even step-brother as some call it) reads out the news to you digitally, but unlike Siri, dear Winston will not listen to you. As you fire the app up, Winston will prompt you to tell it what topics interest you. You can choose between a host of different topics including technology, fashion, sports and entertainment.

The installation does take a while as you wait impatiently for Winston, your personal news butler to get to the news. But once done, the app will surprise you with its vast knowledge and vocabulary as it reads out news with images and sources to you. It can also read out content from whatever social networks you have linked.

Winston starts reading out the news to you as the plush violin filled background music make you feel like the app has come out right from the pages of Sherlock Holmes and its likes. The best bit about Winston reading out status messages on Facebook is that it did not read them out completely. Instead the app analysed it and read the gist out. For example, a friend posted a speech about Chetan Bhagat and signed it off with, ‘What do you think?’ obviously addressed to her timeline. Winston read out the status message saying, “X asks your opinion about Chetan Bhagat.” Impressive!

Sure, Winston has some problems pronouncing Indian names, heck it has trouble pronouncing English names, but it’s intuitive and picks up well. The app user interface is just about perfect with moving tiles drawing your attention.

Parallels are definitely being drawn with older sister Siri and her competitor on Android Google Now, but let’s not forget that those apps are conversationalists, answering questions that you ask of them. Winston on the other hand merely reads out information to you. Reactor Labs, the creator of the app would do well with timely updates making Winston smarter and more intuitive than it is now.


You can download Winston for your iOS device from here.

Published Date: Feb 13, 2013 10:21 am | Updated Date: Feb 13, 2013 10:21 am