Umano App is History – Here’s some on-the-go Solutions

umano1-300x300It always seems to be that whenever I fall in love with an app, it makes serious changes, or gets bought out. Well  that curse has struck again!

Umano will be closing down on June 12th. I’ve been a huge fan of Umano since I discovered it.  The app gave me the chance to listen to articles I was interested in but didn’t have time to read while I was walking to the subway. I’ve also enjoyed recording my own posts, so I will be sad to see it go.

But what’s next? What can I do now to consume content on the go?

Here’s what I plan on trying to help move on now that Umano is closing down:

ReadQuick App  – This app displays an article (no books) one word at a time at the pace you are comfortable with. You can start at the slowest speed and gradually move on to get used to the technique! It will also tell you how long an article will take you to read, which is perfect when you only have a few minutes to spare. It integrates with Pocket and other bookmarking sites  ($9.99 for iPhone)

Read to me AppsFor those of us whose commute mainly consists of walking or driving, reading isn’t always an option. So why not have something read to you? (Like Umano used to do!) Audible sells digital audiobooks, radio and TV programs, and audio versions of magazines and newspapers. First 30 days are free and then it’s $14.95 a month.

If you don’t want to read a whole book you can also try Blinkist. It provides a quick and short synopsis of a book—this time on your iPhone or iPad! The first 3 days are free. After that, it is $49.99 for a yearly subscription.

TED Talk App – If you want to learn on the go, you should try the TED app. This app allows you to access riveting talks from some of the world’s most fascinating people. The TED conferences have such a huge variety of speakers so you won’t feel like you’re being oversaturated with the same information. This is one of my favorite talks to introduce you to the app.

Delicious – A social bookmarking website, that you can use to discover new and interesting content. It’s not very easy to use initially. But I discovered that you can follow other people to see what they have bookmarked. So I would recommend the best way to use it is through following thought leaders or influencers that you like and trust.  I’m going to start with Ramit Sethi.

Make reading your reward – Not all content is suitable for an on-the-go lifestyle. So if you have a favorite blog or website it might be worth setting time aside to indulge. Use this to treat yourself after completing your lists, or while you take a 10 minute break. When you find articles you want to read you can save them in the Pocket app to get back to later.

How do you consume content on the go?

UPDATE: I’m currently working on trying to find a new home for the audio version of my articles. Until then you can listen to me on the So Money podcast, Ali Brown’s show or on the Inspired Conversations podcast. You can also subscribe to my youtube channel! I’m trying to make more videos in 2016. You can also subscribe to my mailing list for all the latest List Producer news.

18 replies
  1. Tina
    Tina says:

    I use the “voice-over” feature within the accessibility/settings on my apple mobil devices (iPad, iPhone) to read ALL my content, at no charge. High quality, free, screen readers are widely available on PC, Android, and Chrome platforms also. Trust me, synthetic voices have come a long way in the last few years, as they change intonation and even pause to take a breath, similar to a human reader would!

    In fact, I used them within my Kindle phone app to listen to your book, and to read your blog to me while driving to work!

    Reply
    • Paula Rizzo
      Paula Rizzo says:

      Tina! This is amazing — how did I not know about this? I have to try it out — thanks so much for your comment. Warmly, Paula

      Reply
  2. Jen
    Jen says:

    Why is Unamano still on Google Play or at least was a week ago when I got this app. That is super annoying… Taking the time to set all this up just to have it end. Maybe a disclaimer would have been nice✋ With that said… I really over this app and listened while working from home. I appreciate the advice about the automated reader…no one reading this article is going to pay ,$15 bucks a month when this was free. If you are going to provide alternatives to this app they should be either low cost or free. I would recommend Google News bc you can pick the content your interested in like Umano and then add a voice app.

    Reply
    • Paula Rizzo
      Paula Rizzo says:

      Hi Jen — I wish I had known sooner too. I’m super bummed that Umano is going away. I just found out that you an enable the VoiceOver feature for IOS if you have an iPhone or iPad. Also – there are 2 services that I learned about since writing the post called Newsbeat and Rivet Radio. I haven’t checked them out fully tho. Good luck and thanks for your comment!

      Reply
  3. Isabel
    Isabel says:

    Thanks for your article. I feel the exact same way than you. I still can not believe that Umano is going to dissapear. I was my way to practice English and to hear interestings articles.
    Thank you very mucho

    Reply
  4. Diane
    Diane says:

    I am shocked and so disappointed to lose Umano! Why buy it just to shut it down if you aren’t going to offer a better—and still free—alternative? A huge disservice! Most inconsiderate of users and content providers. We NEED Umano! The variety and high quality of articles was amazing. So sad! Thanks for your suggestions. I’ll try some but they don’t sound nearly as user-frienly or seamless. I used Umano while walking. It was a great concept.

    Reply
    • Paula Rizzo
      Paula Rizzo says:

      I share your frustration Diane — it was such a great platform. But I’m still on the hunt for the next best thing. I’ll keep you posted! Good luck and thanks for your comment.

      Reply
  5. Oren B.
    Oren B. says:

    I just tried Audiofy and Newsbeat apps, both of which were touted by some as Umano alternatives. Well, they’re not. Both rely on synthesized voices which are unpleasant to listen to and difficult to follow. Our last and only hope seems to be ReadIt4Me which at least has the right direction, but seems to be in early development (no app yet, only website). I miss Umano.

    Reply
    • Kinga
      Kinga says:

      Hello Oren! We are still improving our app and we welcome any suggestions with open arms, so thank you for your feedback. Would you be willing to send us more details at hello@audiofyapp.com as we are really, really interested in our testers’ opinion? Thank you!

      Reply
  6. Diane
    Diane says:

    Does anyone know WHY they just shutdown Umano? Can we start a campaign and get Dropbox to reinstate Umano? I loved the variety of topics and sources—things I would not think to search for nor ever stumble upon myself. I’m serious about querying Dropbox!!

    Reply
  7. P Charvet
    P Charvet says:

    The best replacement for Umano is Pocket + Ivona TTS. Pocket gives you access to practically every article on the web and Ivona is just the most realistic sounding TTS bar none. Pocket give you the ‘Read Aloud’ option. As a combination, its brilliant.

    Reply
  8. Emanuel
    Emanuel says:

    Hello guys! If you want to try another version of that great app you can find us at Linguoo. We loved so much Umano, and we missed so much that when it dissapeared we had to create a new one! Hehe!

    Also, we have inclusive versions for visual disabled people and spanish spoken articles! And we don´t have ads!!! We think that Umano changed something… There will be new versions of them all over the world, but Umano will be the king always. We hope someday we became as great as Umano was…

    Reply

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  1. […] the departure of Umano, I’ve been listening to a lot of audio books. It’s been a good chance to catch up on everything […]

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