BuzzVoice, the service that reads aloud your favorite online news posts, has unloaded some new features on its iPhone app. The “Pandora of news” has added more personalization, more hands-free operation, more search tools, and more filters. BuzzVoice has come a long way since launching over two years ago, and it’s in part due to the success of its business model, and ability to leverage new technology.
The BuzzVoice app, currently $4.99, basically reads aloud news feeds, giving you a hands-free (and eyes-free) way to consume news on the go. Expanding text-to-speech, hands-free options, search tools and a mobile app market, BuzzVoice has combined several aspects of the mobile industry to serve its own niche.
The new features (iPhone 4 compatible):
1. Create personalized playlists of their favorite sources with the Playlist Manager
2. Stream stories, while viewing text images & video in the Custom Streaming player
3. Listen to continuous news with the hands-free BuzzRadio & Auto-Stream features
4. Automatically track their favorite topics with Saved Searches
5. Hear what’s trending across the web’s top sources with Trending Topics
6. Build customized playlists of stories on the fly with Batch Select
The focus on search and personalization shows how BuzzVoice recognizes the power of mobile apps to solve people’s problems. Covering entertainment, productivity, and social media, BuzzVoice has a good position in the intersection of the new world of media consumption.
That intersection, however, is starting to get congested. Everyone, from Amazon to Ford, is searching for ways to incorporate these three perspectives of the mobile industry. Cars are creating ways to interact with your media using only voice interactions, and Amazon has begun the expansion of its audio features, layering more speech into its text-centric mobile apps.
The drive towards growth is something Mark discussed with John Atkinson, Co-Founder and CEO of BuzzVoice. The interview (see below) took place at SXSW over two years ago, but it demonstrates BuzzVoice’s willingness to learn and implement features to appeal to a wide consumer base. I still think there’s some missed opportunities for BuzzVoice (and Amazon) with their Android presence, especially as BuzzVoice could apply its lessons in leveraging a new mobile platform to the Android Market.