Verbalize brings 'Feedly Radio' to Windows Phone 8

Published by at

Now this is something I've wanted for a long time. We all need stuff to listen to while driving, while doing chores, and so on. Wouldn't it be great to have all the latest news from all your favourite RSS feeds (via Feedly) delivered in audio form, direct to your ears, so that your hands and eyes could get on with something else (usually menial)? Step in Verbalize, which works surprisingly well.

From the Store description:

Listen to articles from Pocket and Feedly on the go with Verbalize!

- Your ‘read it later’ list keeps on growing?
- Can’t seem to find the time to keep up with the news?
- Would you like to listen to news, but they’re always talking about stuff that you just don’t care?

Verbalize is the answer!

- Integrates with ‘read it later’ and ‘news’ services
- Syncs in background for offline use
- Hands free mode / Headphones mode
- Carefully crafted user experience

Although I don't use Pocket, I do use Feedly - a lot! So I took Verbalize for a spin - the trial version supports up to 50 unread articles and with a few restrictions on feed syncing:

Screenshot, VerbalizeScreenshot, Verbalize

I've never seen a setting displayed so prominently in a Windows Phone application before, but it's important - without this enabled, playback stops as soon as the lockscreen cuts in! (right) my unread articles in Feedly. Ooh, there's the 'play' icon in the toolbar!!...

Screenshot, VerbalizeScreenshot, Verbalize

As expected, running through headlines and full (scraped, if necessary) articles, everything is read using Windows Phone 8's default voice synthesis system; (right) some of the settings - the default is for articles to be left unread on the Feedly server, but if I've listened right through then I'd usually want the pieces to be marked as read....

In use, Verbalize works really well, the tempo and accuracy of the reading is excellent, with my only complaint being the natural one that having a computer read everything is somewhat monotonous after a while, it's easy to 'tune out'. Maybe this would be a good option for falling asleep to?(!)

I did find a few issues, one where it was tricky to authenticate with Google to get into Feedly in the first place if two-step authentication was turned on, and one where going back to the feeds screen resulted in a never-ending 'resuming....' pane. But I worked around the first and the second is got round by restarting the application. Early days though, I'm sure there are more bug fixes coming soon.

You can try or buy Verbalize here in the Windows Phone Store.

Source / Credit: Windows Phone Store