Despite the lack of an official Google Reader client, Windows Phone 7 has a lot of good feed reader apps (with the the likes of NewsSpot present in the Marketplace). Although Aloud is not the client of a popular news service, and you can’t import feeds from another service (like Google Reader) to the app either, but the concept behind it is rather unique to the platform. You’d be hard pressed to find a similar app on the Marketplace. Aloud is a text-to-speech RSS reader. You can add any news source of interest to the app, and with a single tap, it will begin reading out the introductory paragraphs of all the articles within it. While the app might sound like an accessibility option, it has the potential to prove to be handy in a multitude of situations. You can treat Aloud like just another feed reader, but one that uses speech instead of text to convey the latest news items from the sources you follow.
By default, there are just three feeds added to the app. You can add more feeds from within the Subscriptions section, which can be accessed by tapping the more button at the bottom of the app’s homescreen. Like in any feed reader, you can skip individual posts by marking it as heard or mark all your feeds as heard at once. Aloud also allows you to pause and resume the reading of a post at will. While all these features are great, the app could have been even better if there was some way of controlling the settings and reading functions through voice commands, as you might be using the app while driving or at a time when you can’t spare even one look for the phone’s screen. Another big limitation that Aloud suffers from is its inability to read out entire posts. Only the previews will be read, but you’ll find it to be pretty useful if you’re all for multitasking and like stay up to date with news of your interest.
Aloud is available for free on the Windows Phone Marketplace. Download it to your Mango phone from the web Marketplace link provided below.
Download Aloud For Windows Phone
Update: The app appears to have been taken down from the Windows Phone Store, but you can use m.Aloud, a pretty similar app, although it will cost you $4.99 (trial version available). m.Aloud performs basically the same function as Aloud, but in a much more refined and comprehensive way.