Enjoy fast reading with apps for iPhone, Android and Macs
The market has been very active over the last few years with innovative new technologies coming up such as Spritz.
However, what actually are their benefits and do they help you become a faster reader?
You can group these programs into:
1. e-Reading apps that visualize written material for faster processing of text.
2. Apps that teach you techniques and increase speed as well as comprehension.
Most free and paid tools will fulfill only one of the above mentioned points in a more or less satisfying way. Interestingly enough, only a few companies that offer professional desktop speed reading software have also launched mobile versions for tablets so far.
So, what are the best speed reading apps for iPad, iPhone, Mac and Android devices? What about the Kindle eBook reader? This review will show you the best apps to learn and apply accelerated reading methods on mobile gadgets.
Best Speed Reading Apps 2016 – Top 5
|Spreeder CX||AceReader iPad||Acceleread||ReadQuick||OutRead|
|View Store||View Store||View Store||View Store||View Store|
1. Spreeder CX Pro for Desktop, iOS
Spreeder CX Pro (visit website) is a popular RSVP reading app combined with guided expert training and warm-up drills. The all-in-one license includes unlimited desktop installs and an iPad/iPhone app to spreed your content.
The main activity and goal is reading entire books on your desktop, iPad, iPhone or in your browser and also learn how to process digital content fast and efficiently.
Features and benefits
There are professional training guides and warm-up drills that will teach you reading techniques and eliminate bad habits. You will further get access to a cloud library of more than 20,000 eBooks and progress tracking charts.
- Read entire eBooks/texts on your desktop/iPad/iPhone using RSVP technology
- Guided training and warm-up courses
- Increase reading speed, reduce sub-vocalization improve memory
- Read any of the 20,000+ eBooks included
- Advanced setting to customize your RSVP Reader
- Create up to 5 user accounts for family and friends
- Upload own material and sync with iPad/iPhone
- Set smart goals with advanced progress tracking
- Access all your data on tablet, smartphone, desktop or web
- All-in-one: One license serves all devices!
Verdict: Spreeder CX Pro is a popular and comprehensive speed reading app focusing on the specific needs of reading digital content on desktop and mobile devices. The biggest benefits are its multi-platform availability and the combination of a powerful eBook reader app, guided training and huge eBook library.
Price: $37. Visit website. Includes iPad, iPhone, web and desktop app.
2. AceReader iPad App
Stepware is the developer behind the popular AceReader tutor, and it only seemed natural to launch a modified mobile version too.
By releasing the AceReader iPad App (view in app store), the company is also one of the first ones to make complex reading improvement solutions available on tablets and smartphones, though coming with fewer features than the desktop program.
What’s the goal? This tool is quite different to other e-reading apps on the market as users will get their hands on expert courses applying scientifically proven techniques and exercises. The focus is definitely on learning how to speed read. Apart from that you can of course read eBooks, articles and web content using the app’s reading mode setting. What are the other highlights?
Technology – The iPad app backs on the Rapid Serial Visual Presentation technology (RSVP) which will highlight the text in the center of the screen box. Another technology used here is Tachistoscopic Scroll Presentation aiming to smooth your eye’s movement and increase speed at the same time.
Modes – There are two operating modes available, Training and Reading Mode. In the first mode you will learn the basics of accelerated reading techniques and also run a few drill exercises or play games. In a second step, you can upload your own texts or load existing articles to further develop your reading performance.
Tracking – Compared to many other apps, AceReader iPad is able to track your speed, activities and progress. The stats will be presented visually so you always know your current speed and comprehension rate. You can also set goals and the app will show you where you stand within each course.
What else? – There are other highlights such as a powerful eBook Reader to process digital content, reading tests, access to 50 ebooks, a tool to upload material, and settings to customize font and colors.
AceReader iPad is a very powerful speed reading app to learn faster reading techniques while on the go. It stands out from the crowd as it is a comprehensive trainer developed for mobile platforms.
Price: $19.99. View in app store.
3. Acceleread for iOS
What does it do? Acceleread (view in app store) works by allowing the user to take a graduated approach to courses within the app that are designed to improve their reading speed over time. It aims to improve rate of comprehension and scanning of various texts, as well as make users ‘unlearn’ bad reading habits.
Currently available for the iPhone and iPad, these courses give the user set phrases of text (or segments of their own book collection) to dissect via a variety of techniques that flash up on screen.
The app also aims to help users improve their productivity by reducing the time that their mind can wander between passages of text, a feature that is not offered, at least in the same capacity as in Acceleread.
One criticism of the latest edition offered by Bananabox, the application’s developer, is that whilst initially free, after two working days it blocks the user from further interaction until it is purchased outright for the fee of $9.99.
Aggressive marketing approach aside, the service offered by Acceleread is comprehensive and it actually teaches you how to speed read as a process which only benefits users.
Price: $9.99. View in app store.
4. ReadQuick for iOS
ReadQuick (view in app store) makes the bold claim of being the very best speed reading app available on the iTunes store. It is presently available on nearly all of Apple’s current generation of products, including the iPhone, iPad and iTouch. There is also now added compatibility for both iOS 9 and the iPhone 6s.
What does it do? ReadQuick works by taking your daily reading and converting it into a legible list that you can easily comprehend, and quickly. This includes publications from your favorite newspaper, blogger, book or something as simple as the recipe for your evening meal.
This is a feature that currently no other app available on the market does. The format of lists (as per standard in speed reading apps) includes Pocket, Instapaper and Readability. Interestingly, the app has been criticized as more of a ‘quick reading’ tool that dissects articles, rather than an actual tool that can help you learn speed reading techniques but either way user reviews have remained consistently positive and full of praise.
ReadQuick is a useful tool that is able to support a wide range of formats and languages to help you break down your daily reading into comprehensible chunks.
Price: $9.99. View in app store.
5. Velocity for Safari
Whilst other apps claim to be the most in-depth and comprehensive available when it comes to learning the techniques of quick reading, Velocity claims to be the fastest from the outset.
How does it work? It allows you to save web pages and documents in Pocket, Instapaper and Readability list format via the in-built Safari web browser (Apple browser), and it then converts your text so that you read it one word at a time.
This enables users to view single words instead of a wall of text, which is, according to the developer Lickability, the best way forward when one aims to further their comprehension rate.
The application has recently undergone a transformation so that it is now fully compatible with iOS 8/9 as well as the iPhone 6s, allowing for you to dissect your text on an even bigger screen. Lickability’s approach in the market is unique and some users have sworn by it, especially in regards to improving comprehension rate.
This being said, some users have raised issues with how it converts lists containing bullet points, and when bullet points make up the majority of lists, this is a considerable issue.
Price: Velocity is currently priced at $2.99.
6. QuickReader for iPad, iPhone
How does it help? Whereas other applications under review here focus upon a wide range and format of texts available nowadays, QuickReader (view in app store) turns its attention solely to books within your collection. Or rather books the app can add to your collection.
Whilst QuickReader is fully compatible with publications you currently own, one of its key features is that it also provides you with access to well over 9,500 titles, from contemporary classics to self-help guides and more.
The program is currently compatible with both the iPad and iPhone in various generations. The interface is also fully customizable to the user’s specifications which is a feature missing from most other e-reading apps in the same field.
Questions have been raised over the legibility of the app for dyslexic users in particular, with a lack of appropriate fonts offered by the developer Inkstone. Furthermore, if you require a definition of a word QuickReader pulls up another application which, in the grand scheme of things is somewhat clunky and time consuming.
This being said, having a library of well over 9,000 titles for a small investment of $4.99 is a tempting prospect and the speed reading process is generally efficient and suitably streamlined.
Price: $4.99. View in app store.
7. Outread for iOS
Outread (view in app store) is an app that appears to be incredibly similar to Readquick in both its modus operandi and function. Compatible with all of Apple’s current range of products and fully optimised for iOS 9, a feature not explicitly highlighted for any other application reviewed here, one of the main features of Outread is its pure usefulness.
What does it help with? It now comes with compatibility for Microsoft Word files alongside the usual lists one associates with such apps, meaning that work documents from fellow colleagues can now be deciphered in a matter of minutes.
A feature within Outread that other applications do not have is a customizable highlighter; outside of the usual color and size changes, the highlighter can also be relocated to any point on the screen for added usability.
A thoughtful touch and one that will appeal to a wide selection of users. Reviews of Outread remain highly positive and it also has a nifty little trick of bookmarking where you left off in a books chapter, which is a feature often left out by other programs. At just $2.99, the value for money and incredible usability is hard to ignore.
Price: 2.99. View in app store.
8. Readme! eBook Reader App for Android and iOS
Of all the best speed reading apps on review, Readme (view in app store) probably has the most visually appealing user face, utilizing welcoming tones of walnut to draw the user in.
What is it good for? Utilizing iOS 7 and available on all of Apple’s current generation of products, one of the major drawing points of Readme! appears to be that Spritz technology is fully integrated into the service offered.
Spritz works by highlighting one word at a time in the color red, which reduces the amount of time that the reader spends looking for their reading position whilst also moving the text along at a rapid, yet legible pace.
It’s a feature that doesn’t sound integrally different from the other services on offer from other apps, but its smoothness and amazing functionality means that many users have reported being able to use the app with little to no eye strain, a consistent issue with several speed reader apps.
Price: Readme! is currently available for just $1.99 and for those on a tight budget, this is a great choice of app. It’s unfortunately not available for Kindle. View in app store.
9. Syllable for iOS
How does it work? Syllable’s features make it seem incredibly similar to another application (see Acceleread) already reviewed here. By reducing the subvocalization time (a ‘bad habit’ associated with normal reading), Syllable (view in app store) flashes words across your screen quickly enough to keep your pace of reading moving along nicely whilst also allowing you to digest what you have just seen on screen.
Once again the app is fully compatible with all of Apple’s current stock and works primarily off of iOS 7. Usability is another key aspect of Syllable; just like Outread, fonts, pace of reading and general format are all interchangeable and this adds to the user experience greatly. A night mode is also available for those of us who struggle to get to sleep and thus decide to do some light reading as we are still awake.
Syllable is reasonably priced at $2.99, with the only real criticism of it being that it currently doesn’t really bring anything new to the table. Regardless of this issue, if you want a speed reading app capable of doing a little bit of everything, Syllable may be the one for you.
Price: $2.99. View in app store.
10. Apps for Android tablets and phones
SpeedRead for Android uses Spritz technology. This little app works with apps that support text to speech (TTS). You will need to login to your Spritz account to set TTS settings. Price $0.99. Another one is Faster Reader and it backs on the same RSVP reading technology as SpeedRead. There is a free version available to get started. They are all available on the Google Play store.
Are there any free speed reading apps?
Yes. They mostly come as addons for browsers or apps and help with processing words quickly, especially on smaller screens. Spreeder for example still offers a simple bookmarklet, but compared to the Pro version it is very limited in regards to mobile reading, settings or features and does not offer any courses.
Another program is Boba, which comes for iOS devices. Instpaper on the other hand organizes your reading material. If you don’t have time to consume an article while at work or in a meeting, you can save it and it will sync on all your devices.
To complete this review, you may also want to check out SpeedReading Trainer and SpeedReader, both available on Android, and on the Play store.
Best speed reading apps 2016: The Verdict
When placed under the eye of scrutiny, all the speed reading apps on review here offer an RSVP service and there is at least one feature of each that every one of us would find useful in our day to day reading.
Spreeder iPhone/iPad (visit website) is by far the most advanced and comprehensive app in this list. If you want to invest into a long-term solution that will allow you to learn to read faster and also read entire eBooks then this is the app to go for. It is also a multi-platform solution that works on your Mac, desktop, laptop or in any browser.
The biggest benefits are the guided training lessons combined with a huge eBook library of 20,000 titles and the ability to upload, access or use own documents, websites and material. It’s the priciest solution, but this isn’t a smallish app it’s a fully-grown desktop and browser app as well. It’s good value in the long run from an educational point of view.
AceReader iPad (View in app store) is another powerful and comprehensive app from the makes of the award-winning desktop app, but it lacks the synchronization between them.
However, fast reading is also an increasingly in-demand and competitive market, and the service offered by Outread, priced at just $2.99 seems the most in-depth and user friendly of all the services reviewed here.
On the other hand, it depends what you really intend to achieve with these apps. If you want your reading material to be presented in an easy to digest way then apps such as ReadQuick or QuickReader might be a good option for you. If you are trying to learn fast reading then apps such as Acceleread or Syllable are the ones that might be more suitable.
What is the best speed reading app 2016 in your opinion? Share your experiences in the comments below.
Update: Stay tuned for upcoming fast e-reading apps for Mac. Send me a mail or sign up for our newsletter if you want to be notified.
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