Umano: News Read to You by Real People
Jan 30, 2013 9:21 AM –
Umano: News Read to You is a new app with a massive difference. Instead of you reading the latest stories on it, it reads them to you! Not only that, stories are read in a friendly and ‘human’ way, unlike the awkward robotic tones we are used to. Great then for people who would like to catch up on full news stories while on the go- and especially great if you absorb information quicker via audio.
Tested on: Nexus 4
Pros & Cons:
- Easy to set up and use!
- Great natural voices!
- Wide range of interesting and regularly updated articles!
- Although understandable, the app only has a limited library.
Umano is a top new news application that reads articles to you- podcast style. The main feature of the application is that articles are read by natural voices, not the robotic synthesised voice you find with most other voice solutions, even advanced ones like Google Search. The benefit of this is that it’s natural to listen to, much like a radio program or a podcast. Words are pronounced correctly and easy to understand and speech flow is natural.
You can choose from various articles from an assortment of popular news and blog services, such as the BBC, Washington Post, Digital Trends, Guardian, Time, Business Insider and loads more. After a brief introduction the article is read, it can also easily be paused and you can even skip forward to the next listed story if you want to. The app lets you scroll through a long list of articles and you can add them to your playlist by pressing and holding them.
There are clearly various applications for Umano. If you spend a lot of time driving, you can select what you listen to- meaning you can absorb interesting news stories without having to physically read them. Some people absorb information better aurally (i.e. by listening) than they do visually (reading) so it’s great for those people too. It ultimately means that you can be getting on with other things and still take in the news; walking, commuting, jogging, driving, house work, review writing…
It perhaps goes without saying that there are some limitations- stories are obviously updated but not immediately (the article has to be selected, recorded and published through the app) so it perhaps isn’t great if you need completely fresh, dynamic and changing news. Also, the library is very good but it’s not going to cover every published news article so there will always be omissions. The range of articles itself tends to be those which are topical, opinion pieces, online ‘magazine’-style and factual items. There’s a healthy and varied mix of topics and perhaps quite a few sources you might not normally come across.
Despite these limitations- it’s still a great application. The UI is very smooth and simple to use. You can set and then download your playlist for offline listening while the app also connects to social networks for sharing (*gasp* even to Google+) and ‘Likes’. The app is innovative, user-friendly and will be great for lots of people. Perhaps best of all is that it is free, so definitely check it out if you love news.
Umano – Welcome screen
Umano – Article list
Umano – Great selection of sources
Umano – In play
Umano – Article detail and link
Umano – Liked article
Umano – Liked list
Umano – Sharing options at top
Umano – Browsing tools
Umano – Notifications
If you are an Android user who likes following news and reading interesting articles, expanding your horizon etc, Umano is a brilliantly useful application that makes it easy to do so. If you drive or find it challenging to just sit down and read, this is a great solution.
Ease of Use:
The app works much like any most media players- there are lists, playlists, genres to explore and what’s great is that you build a playlist for offline use. The app is extremely user friendly and lets you get on with listening rather than fiddling about in a complex app.
This is perhaps something that will depend very much on the user and their personal preferences.
The interface is smooth, very well thought-out and employs a simple ‘Holo’ style design. Therefore it’s functional, sleek and user friendly throughout.
Tags: Android App
, Android Apps
, AndroidTapp.com App Review
, App Reads RSS News Aloud
, Audible Feedback
, Google Now
, Google Search
, Read News Aloud
, Read RSS News Aloud
, Umano News Read to You
Categorised in: News & Weather