REVIEWED: getAbstract app

Are you buying business books in airport, but not reading them? This summary service give you easy bite-size insight on the go.

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Airport book stores are rammed with business books. How to think better, grow your business, change your outlook … life-coaching for the long-haul. But who has time to read them? Nobody, which is why a new app called getAbstract seeks to condense all of those must-read titles into one subscription service.

Best bits

For £79 for a year’s limited access, getAbstract gives you the best bits. Here are 10-minute reads of best-sellers on economics, global business, finance, enterprise and sales, even history and politics. AKA self-help for road-warriors. The thousands of titles include The Obstacle Is The Way, The Management Shift, How To Kill A Unicorn and Junkyard Planet. There are also a smattering of TED Talks, complete with summaries, which when accessed as videos automatically launch the TED Talks app that should already be on your phone or tablet. Everything can be emailed to your Amazon account, too, for easy reading on a Kindle, or within the Kindle app on any phone or tablet. This also works in the ePub format for other ebook readers. Publishers include McGraw-Hill, John Wiley & Sons, Penguin Group, Perseus Books Group, Random House, Simon & Schuster, Harvard Business Review Press and more than 450 others.

Succinct treatment

Each title gets a brief, succinct treatment, but it’s enough to get your teeth into. Ratings of the book itself is followed by ‘Take-Aways’ –salient points made by the author – plus a 500-word abstract, and some readers’ comments (which you can add to yourself). There’s even a spoken-word version of the abstract, too. Not only is this all very convenient, but the app is excellently designed; it’s responsive, neat and tidy, and easy to navigate. For instance, a tiny tap can take you from mid-way through the text all the way back to the beginning. There are options to read white on black or black on white, and change the font size.

Weekly summaries

However, how are you going to know if a must-read business book is published? getAbstract will push you a personalised weekly notification of anything related to your interests that appears on its system, and in English or another language you choose, too (Spanish, Portuguese or French). You can even set it to only alert you to new audio recordings, if you’re not much of a reader. Good value and a well-designed, highly usable and – most crucially – very well-written, getAbstract is a useful addition to a well-travelled, business-savvy smartphone or tablet where productivity is everything. It’s great for travelling light, but it is expensive – but that’s a trade-off many will make since paperbacks are fast becoming a dirty word for long-haulers.

Price as reviewed: from £249/year unlimited access (other plans available from £79)

Get the getAbstract app