Posted 01/22/2013 at 9:49 AM
Posted 5 years ago
Have you ever sat on a busy commuter train unable to concentrate on reading the daily news on your phone? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just plug in your headphones and have someone read the news to you? Well, with the new app Umano, this is exactly the sort of service you can expect to receive.
Launched a few months ago for iOS, Umano has finally made its way over to Google Android, and it is somewhat overdue. Umano offers readers a curated selection of articles (about 20 each day) which are read out by real voice actors. It was designed by SoThree, which was co-founded by Ian Mendiola – CEO of the company and a former employee of Google, leading me to wonder why the Android platform had not seen the app sooner. In fact, we may have had to wait a little while longer to see Umano on the Google OS, were it not for the developers realization that the majority of people at the release event were actually Android users.
For those familiar with the iOS version of the app, the set-up on Android is the same. Around 20 articles are chosen by the Umano team each day and then read by real voice actors. This gives each news piece a natural feel rather than an annoying robotic text translator. The app is divided in to six different categories, making it easier to for users to select what they want to read about. These categories are Entertaining, Must Know, Geeky, Entrepreneurial, Inspirational, and Scientific.
Umano also features some features that are specific to Android, including Google+ integration and rich notifications, giving users the option of controlling playback within the app notifications. The ability to create playlists (a popular feature on the iOS version), has yet to have been made available on Umano for Android, however, Mendiola has said that this feature will be added further down the line.
According to TechCrunch, Umano does not have any partnership deals with publishers, but has not received any complaints, and according to Mendiola, “if content owners would like their content taken down, we’re happy to work with them.”
If you are driving to work, struggling to concentrate on the bus or train, or are simply feeling too lazy to read the daily news, Umano is an app that will prove very useful to you, and many others.
You can find out more about Umano in the Google Play Store.