Ian Philpot

It isn’t long in any conversation before I reference an article I’ve heard on NPR or read online. But recently those news sources have become slightly inconvenient.

Take NPR for example. I generally only listen to it while I’m driving, so the amount of time I’m listening is limited to my commute. Also, I have no control over the articles that I hear, and sometimes I’m driving when a show totally irrelevant to my life (i.e. The Morning Shift—a hyper-local show about living in Chicago city limits) is on.

Then there are online articles. Thousands of them posted daily, often on the same topic, and I have to pick and choose my news sources and filter through different categories and get infuriated with spending ten minutes to find two interesting articles.

Then I heard about Umano—an app that provides audio files of articles, recorded by professional readers, for users to listen to.

And the way I get news has been transformed.

The app has features for users to download stories for offline listening, share stories on social media, and everything else you would want from a podcast app.

But it gets better.

For an app that’s breaking out right now, Umano seems to have its audience pegged. It seems to me like of the articles are about tech, science, business, and economics—all topics I’m deeply interested in. But beyond that, the sources of those articles are mostly from websites I trust: LifeHacker, Forbes, PandoDaily, Fast Company, and the like.

And, in my opinion, the readers are rock stars. These guys (yes, Umano only has male readers right now) do a great job of reading articles with voices not that far from what I’d expect on NPR (though I haven’t feel like the Umano readers are ever trying to slow down their tempo to suck up airtime on a slow news day).

Overall, this is one of the apps I’ve come to use on a daily basis, and it’s changed how I take in information. Definitely give it a try.