Uttr 3If you are always on the move and don’t have the time to sit down to read the day’s headlines, there is a way to find out what your favorite RSS feeds are reporting without having to take your eyes off the road.

Uttr is an RSS feed app that does the reading for you. Instead of taking the time to sit down with a cup of coffee and your iPhone, let Uttr read the headlines while you go on about your business…

Design

The app displays the date and time in the upper left corner of the screen in a red square with the current weather conditions in an orange square in the upper right corner. Below the date and weather, a blue rectangle shows your events for the day based on your iOS calendar information. In the largest gray section, your RSS feed headlines appear with the website location and time that the article was published. The app’s controls are at the very bottom of the screen with the current text scrolling the spoken words, which are highlighted in orange.

I really love the display. It reminds me of Morning for the iPad. Each section features bright colors and bold text. It looks great.

You can switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit in the weather section, but no other section can be altered. If you pay $2.99 to unlock the additional features, you can add your own name so that the virtual news reader will say your name in the opening greeting.

Uttr’s voice is very similar to Siri. It almost seems like your virtual personal assistant is also reading you the news.

Uttr 2App Use

The app is very easy to set up. All you really have to do is give it permission to use your current location and access your iOS calendar. The app will then generate a clock with the date and the current temperature. Your calendar information will be added so that you will be aware of daily events.

The free app includes one free news source. For $2.99 you can add your favorite news and blog sites by searching for them in the app and then selecting the RSS feed from the available list.

After your personal information and RSS feed is ready, tap the “Play” button to have the news read to you. The app’s narrator, let’s just call her Siri, will start by telling you the date and time and the current weather conditions in your area. Then, she will tell you every event that you have in your iOS calendar and the time that it is taking place. Then, she will begin reading the headline, as well as the website where the article comes from, how long ago the article was posted, and then a paragraph or two from the post.

To start the reading over from the beginning, tap the refresh button at the bottom center, where Siri’s controls are. To pause the feed, tap the pause button. If you want to skip to the next article, tap the fast forward button. In my experience, I was only able to move to the next article twice. Whenever I tried fast-forwarding more than two times in a row, the app would freeze up and I would have to restart the app by closing it in multitasking and reopening it.

To manage your feeds, add an alarm, switch from Celsius to Fahrenheit, and add your name, swipe from left to right on the iPhone screen. This will call up the menu list.

Tap “Manage Feeds” to add additional RSS feeds. Here, you can search for a particular website, like iDB, and when it appears, tap the correct RSS feed URL to add it. Multiple news feeds are only available with the $2.99 full app. The free version includes one free news source.

Tap “Manage Alarms” to add as many alarms as you like. I tested this feature multiple times and nothing happened. As far as I can tell, it does not work. This feature is also only available with the full app. You cannot add an alarm in the free version.

In the “Options” section, you can switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit and add your name so that, when you first open the app, Siri will greet you directly. The name feature is only available with the full app.

[UPDATE: This article has been edited to reflect the fact that the free version lets you choose one free news source. The default news source is CNN, but you can delete it and add a different one in the Settings section.]

Uttr 4The Good

I am a fan of apps that display the date, time, and weather. I love that this app has a great looking visual display.

I also like the ability to add any RSS URL you want to the feed list in the full app. You are not relegated to only news sites. Yes, iDB headlines can be read to you.

The Bad

Aside from the annoying glitch that freezes the app when trying to go to the next article, I hate that Siri only reads a few sentences from each post. I don’t understand why the app does not read the entire article. To make matters worse, you can’t even tap the headline to be directed to the full article so that you can read it yourself, or add it to Evernote to read later.

The alarm function, which would be a great benefit to this app, does not work.

[UPDATE: As mentioned by the app’s developer in the comments section, Uttr only reads a few paragraphs from articles because of the way sources enter the post into the RSS feed. There may still be some RSS feeds out there that put the full article into the feed so that Uttr will read the entire post. I tried this out with at least a dozen different websites and they all cut off a few paragraphs into the article. Also, the broken alarm is being fixed in the next update.]

Value

Uttr is free to download. If you want the app for the cool looking display, it is worth it, just for that. However, the $2.99 download price is not worth paying. You may be able to add as many of your favorite RSS feeds as you like, but you can only listen to about a paragraph or two from most posts. It is not the app’s fault because of the way news sources add feeds, but it is still not worth the money, in my opinion.

Conclusion

If you like the look of it, I recommend downloading this free app for the display panel. You can easily see what time it is, get the weather report, and find out about today’s events without having to open any other apps. However, I do not recommend paying $2.99 to unlock additional features. Due to the nature of RSS feeds, this app does not read the entire article of most website postings. You can download the free version in the App Store today.

Related Apps

Morning is a great date, time, and RSS feed display app, but it is only available on the iPad. As for apps that read you the news, the best way to get that is by turning on your VoiceOver feature in your settings section.

Do you know of any apps that read the news to you? Have you ever used the VoiceOver feature in iOS?

  • RarestName

    Screw RSS feeds, all I need is a Twitter client that supports custom lists.

  • Eduardo Resende 

    Hi Lori, I’m the developer of Uttr, thanks for the review. Actually on the free version you are allowed to have one news source, you can delete the default CNN news feed and add other one you like. The app does not read the entire articles of some feeds because most of them don’t put the entire article in the feed, I think the reason of this is to make the user visit the website. And regarding the alarm issues it was already fixed and will be available in the next version very soon. 🙂

    • P.

      Than what is the reason why they have RSS now? I know in the past and compared to now a lot of RSS feeds are cut off. Gizmodo (that amateur blogging messy site) was the first one I was aware of that did this. Although after googling the direct RSS feed link. It was possible to get the full article. And yes what you said is true, some sites only allowed partial because you have to visit them to read the rest. My opinion is nobody is going to like that. But if the site regulates to allow reading of entire post and this doesn’t app doesn’t produce. I do not understand why also. The Flipboard App does the exact thing as displaying half assed articles and includes picture. But doesn’t read. I found this out as some sites modified RSSes.

    • P.

      Also. Eduardo, is there any possibility of having more features as in Voice activated recognition after opening up the app for 2-5 minutes? I asked this is because when going into the car opening up the app so it can load the articles and weather, while loading all that information. The option to have how many new articles read to you and voice activated near end of article (Siri: You have XX new articles, would you like to me to read them? ; You: Yes ; Or Read me a couple ; or xx from each) and to Ask you if you want to repeat the article or go to the next feed.

      Or automatically start reading the app once everything loads and gives you a prompt (Siri: Reading articles in xx seconds) option.

      I read the reviews and I would love to have this as a feature as I get ready in the morning for work in the kitchen, bathroom, or in the car driving to work .

      Also iPad version would be nice. Let us know when that is coming.

      • Eduardo Resende 

        That’s a very nice suggestion, we have started to try some voice recognition APIs, as Apple does not provide us a native one. If one of them make satisfactory results be sure this feature will be available on a future version. Thanks!

      • P.

        Also if possible, not only loading the RSS, but incorporate comments to be read option as well. Or comments with most ups from many comment fiddles used around tech sites.

      • P.

        Also is there a website just specifically for UTTR App? That would include a timeline of new features? That would be nice.

      • P.

        Also if you could have a feature which whenever you wake up to UTTR, it would say. Good Morning _______ and pronounce your name. With weather response asking and answering to No or yes or auto.

    • Eduardo, Thanks for clarifying that. We appreciate your communication. Thanks for letting us know about why the app only reads a few paragraphs of most articles. Glad to hear that the alarm will be fixed in the next update.

  • I added iDB feed without buying the premium version 🙂 just swipe on CNN n it will delete then u can add iDB 😀