Review: Umano brings articles to life


Human: Real people read the news articles. That not only sounds natural, but it also turns your news articles into bite-sized podcasts, which you can queue to your liking.

Two birds with one stone: Umano's news aggregate works as both a newsreader and a news "reader." Articles can be played at 2x the speed for quicker consumption.

Multitask-friendly: Other news articles are accessible without disrupting your current article, thanks to a gesture-friendly UI.

Great user flow: The app's interface has a clean design, and content is well organized. Car mode brings a rudimentary, distraction-free UI … Read more

Google Reader is done; here are five alternatives

Editors' note: This post has been updated with new and better alternatives to fit your news-reading style.

Hear that? That's the sound of millions of news junkies on the Web scrambling to find an alternative to Google Reader.

As you may have heard, Google Reader will be no more starting July 1. Unfortunately for many of us, the search giant has announced that it will shutter its much-maligned -- though still widely used -- RSS reader, which will no doubt leave many users in a tizzy, searching for other ways to subscribe to their favorite feeds. Sure, Google Reader … Read more

Flipboard adds SoundCloud support for new audio features

Flipboard (free) is already many people's go-to app for flipping through the latest news and social network updates. But today, a new update lets you connect Flipboard with SoundCloud to offer audio clips created by major news services like NPR, and audio clips created by your friends and people you follow.

You can sign into the new SoundCloud component by using a previously created SoundCloud account, by starting a new account, or by using your Facebook account. Once connected, Facebook and Twitter posts, and any story that includes audio, can be listened to with a handy player that resides … Read more

Little Printer chews your feeds into a bite-size newspaper

It's not pareidolia. You're actually looking at the face of the Little Printer, a tiny output device coming in 2012 that curates your online subscriptions and spits them out as a snackable newspaper.

The Little Printer occupies as much room on your shelf as an alarm clock, but the wireless server inside the molded plastic and brushed steel faceplate connects to an accompanying smartphone app with which you choose the services you want in your morning or evening report; multiple feeds are available, including your daily agenda, news headlines, personal messages, games and puzzles, and birthday reminders extracted from Facebook.

The guts of the Little Printer are simple; a roll of paper sits on a spool and a thermal printer heats up chemicals that change color when exposed to heat (the same inkless printing technology is used on sales receipts, giving you an idea of the output quality limitations)--maybe that's why every message starts and ends with a happy face.… Read more

Alien Blue has landed for iPad

Do you read Reddit? Reddit is a user-powered information aggregator--everything from funny links and pictures to programming advice and politics can be found in the many subcategories or "subreddits." The last I heard there were over 50,000 subreddits, so if there's something you're interested in (old-school video games, black-and-white photography, underwater basket weaving, etc.), chances are there's a subreddit and community for your interests.

You access Reddit mostly via your favorite Web browser, but a couple of apps have surfaced for the iPhone and other devices that make browsing the popular link site even better. The latest (and possibly greatest) is brand-new today for iPad and it might be the best way to browse Reddit stories and comments available--even better than your desktop browser.… Read more

Read the news and blow away monsters on the run: iPhone apps of the week

Even with the huge success of the iPhone 4 and the iPad, we all know Apple hasn't been resting on its laurels. We still have a big hardware event to come this fall with Apple's now annual iPod launch event. Among the rumors and speculation around the Web, some news Web sites are saying we might see a full revision to the iPod Touch, a new iPad, and maybe a completely rebuilt Apple TV.

The guys over at AppleInsider uncovered a particularly interesting tidbit by studying the "Configuration Descriptors" within the USB configuration files of the most recent iOS 4.1 beta. Apparently, by following Apple's past releases, they were able to pick out new versions of devices by the code names Apple uses for its products. Check out the story linked above to see how they figured it all out. Especially interesting is the "unknownHardware" named in the third configuration file--could this be the smaller iPad people have been talking about or maybe the Apple TV?

Like everything Apple, we will not know what the company has in store for new hardware until the event (oh, the drama), but it's always fun to watch the rumors unfold on the many Apple rumor sites.

This week's apps include an easy to use news reader and a game that challenges you to run the longest distance while killing off monsters.… Read more

Get the news your way

NetNewsWire is a serious RSS newsreader, a feature-filled desktop app specifically designed for voracious news consumers who want more RSS features than Safari and Mail provide. Recent updates leave the interface largely unchanged but notably add the ability to sync with the popular Google Reader service, while eliminating NetNewsWire's old NewsGator service.

This app's three-paned, Mail-like interface presents a shallow learning curve, with an intuitive system for flagging, organizing, and reading news feeds--as simple previews or as full articles with NetNewsWire's integrated browser (or you can set articles to open in your preferred browser). The interface supports … Read more brings news to BlackBerry news content has never been farther away on a BlackBerry phone than a good RSS reader like Viigo. On Monday, Time launched its own reader, for the brand's content alone. for BlackBerry is a free, ad-supported application that mimics's Web experience, albeit through a wisely pared-down interface.

The graphics-rich application shines in Time's signature carmine hue. Buttons along the top strip navigate to top stories, popular stories, lists (including 50 Essential Travel Tips and 10 Big Recession Surprises), and photo galleries. Keep scrolling to the right to pick up a fifth, … Read more

Top RSS readers

Have you ever used an RSS newsreader? Though you can surf to your favorite sites using your Web browser of choice, RSS readers bring all the news to you in a simple format that's conducive to getting more information quickly. The best RSS readers make it easy to add your favorite sites so you can quickly sift through headlines. When you find something of interest, you can often expand the story in an RSS reader or go directly to the site to read more. If you spend a lot of time on the Web, RSS readers are a great … Read more

Viigo 3.0 beta chases Yahoo Go 3.0 beta

Another Yahoo department has cause for concern. Up until last week, Yahoo Go was top dog in the mobile widget arena, pulling everything from weather, news, and finance to local listings, Flickr photos, and search onto Yahoo Go 3.0 beta, the company's rich application for smartphones. But Viigo 3.0 beta has added many of the same elements to what is essentially a faster-loading and more visually straightforward wrapper.

I've sung Viigo's praises when it was flexing new-found muscle as a superb RSS reader for Windows Mobile and BlackBerry devices. The new beta, released June 19, … Read more