Thanks to the advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning also the natural language processing (NLP) field is becoming more and more evolute, and with it also the possibility of automatically summarizing texts.
The drawback is that many summarizing tools are web and desktop based. But what if you are on the go, or if you only have access to a mobile phone instead of a pc? As we all know, people nowadays tend to spend more and more time using mobile phones, and look for apps to deliver a certain service instead of wasting time web browsing, so the question is not improper. Also, with a mobile phone, you can take pictures, so it could be really interesting to be able to fully exploit this advantage, for example translating a pic into text and then summarizing it. Or you can record audio or video…and then you may want to sum them up. In other words, with mobile phones the summarizing affair is not limited to text but is far broader. Let’s see if there are any summarize apps that really are different from their desktop counterparts.
Scanning and summarizing texts
This combination, scanning or taking a picture of a text and summing it up, is one of the first ways to fully leverage the true potential of a summarize app. Are there any apps out there that manage to efficiently combine these elements? The answer is affirmative: there are many such apps, for example Conceptmeister, Picturize, Quill, Summary Scanner and Smart OCR: Text Miner Pro all allow to extract text from a picture and then perform text analysis on it. Useful, isn’t it?
Of course text extraction and recognition as well as text summarization are still evolving technologies so often the result is not perfect but still with some human revision they deliver a really time saving product.
Audio and video summaries
Users nowadays consume more video and audio content than text. Podcasts start to be widespread and used also to vehiculate non fictional contents. So, it would be extremely useful if you could just extract text from an audio or a video and then summarize it.
This is a difficult task and currently still a research field. Nonetheless there are some efforts in this direction. For example Penman takes audio notes (from a lecture or a conversation), using AI and machine learning translates audio into text and then makes summaries out of it; Makemysummary is another app (currently in beta version) that can summarize youtube videos, recorded notes, but also blog posts, web pages, etc and that easily connects with the main project and file management apps (slack, google docs, trello, etc). These apps typically require a subscription fee for their services.
Summarize app that also makes quizzes, mind maps, charts, etc
Another useful application of NLP as applied to text summarization and analysis could be an app that not only summarizes but also performs text elaboration producing questions, mind maps, interactive presentations. In this area there are many interesting apps that one could explore: PandaNote for example takes your notes and extracts from them quizzes, revision tests and more while MindMapper translates notes into a schematic form and also creates mind maps. There are many other similar apps that work in this way, i.e. not only summarizing text but schematizing it.
But what if you only want to make a simple plain summary? Are there any really good apps for this?
How to summarize texts with an app: the best solutions
If the only thing you want is a plain summary out of a text there is an entire plethora of apps that do exactly this. Just to mention a few, we have Summbot which is a really cool yet simple app with which you can either cut and paste a text or directly insert a link to the text to be summarized; Summarizer, aimed particularly at summarizing and taking notes out of books, also fictional; WrapItUp, which supports over 128 languages, and many more. You just have to find out the most convenient for your needs. That being said, If you instead need to find a way to quickly generate digital summaries of your contents (be them blog posts, magazine articles, reports…) there are companies, like Paperlit, who can develop tailor made solutions customized to your precise needs, helping you in the digitalization process too.