Trimit iPhone app shortens and summarizes, but doesn’t prove useful

Jul 25, 2011
Tech

I don’t see the purpose of Trimit. I understand what the iPhone/iPod Touch app does — takes websites or passages of text, and summarizes it down to a set character limit — but I’m not sure when the service would ever serve a truly functional purpose for mobile users. With Trimit, users can type or […]

I don’t see the purpose of Trimit.

I understand what the iPhone/iPod Touch app does — takes websites or passages of text, and summarizes it down to a set character limit — but I’m not sure when the service would ever serve a truly functional purpose for mobile users.

With Trimit, users can type or paste in copy, or import text directly from a website by inputting a URL. Then by shaking or tapping the trim button, Trimit will condense the text to a summary of whatever length you choose. The app offers set character limits for Twitter, Facebook, SMS, email, Tumblr or text files. By holding down the icon for each service, you can opt to enable the app to abbreviate words or remove vowels, as the app deems necessary (that means you could willingly post something with “azoci8d” in it — oof). After you’ve shortened the text, you can hit the arrow in the upper right to tweet it, text it, print it, Facebook it, email it, or save it as a .txt file — but I don’t know why you’d want or need to do this.

The accuracy of Trimit’s summaries varies widely. There’s zero reason to use the app to post to Twitter, since you’d be able to summarize an article more succinctly yourself. The summaries were a bit clearer when I used services that offered longer character limits, but even then it was hit or miss (lacking context made for mostly unintelligible summaries in my experience), especially because Trimit seemed unable to import all paragraphs of a website. You’ll really never want to type in text to be shortened because you need to have 200 more characters than the limit in order for the app to function (and that makes for a long tweet). The URL importer gets around that, but it requires many extra steps on the user end: Go to Safari, find a website to trim, copy the address, open Trimit, paste in the address, delete the extra http:// so the address works, and finally encode the text. Do you see why I’m not clear why this method is better than simply tweeting or emailing a website link? For my time, it’s not.

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Trimit reportedly costs $0.99, but I snagged the app for nothing. This, and only this, is why I’d tell you to download it immediately.

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