These Apps Boost Your Reading Speed
Machine-assisted speed reading uses a wide variety of techniques such as "meta guiding" using a pointer and "rapid serial visual presentation" (RSVP) or displaying words in rapid succession to massively increase your reading speed from the average of 250 words per minute. The Amazon Fire HD tablets tout a the Word Runner feature, which will help you read faster via RSVP, but it's far from the only option out there. Check out the best speed reading apps on Android and iOS.
Spreeder (iOS: Free)
Spreeder does a little bit of everything in that it serves as a speed reading training course, machine-assisted speed reading tool, and social media sharing platform. Spreeder comes with a guided speed reading course and a wealth of free, public domain texts across a variety of difficulty levels that you can use to practice on (or learn something new). You can add web links, plain text or import documents and ebooks. The app's cloud-based library lets you sync across multiple devices, and puts all your docs right at your fingertips. A detailed personal dashboard lets you track your progress and share it (or speed reading texts) with friends. The app is free, but upgrading to Spreeder Pro adds extras such as video lessons.
AceReader (Webapp, Desktop: $39.99 t0 $69.95 a year)
AceReader takes a more platform-agnostic approach with a subscription-based service that lets users log in to a webapp that uses a wide variety of exercises, tests, and minigames to train users to read quickly and efficiently with a word-chunking system. Users can practice with a wealth of sample texts, or upload their own documents and PDFs for machine-assisted speed reading, and a detailed metrics system tracks your progress for your reference. The cloud-based Personal Edition starts at $39.99 per year, while a legacy Classic edition, available as a desktop program, is also available for $69.95.
ReadMe! (Android, iOS: Free, with subscription for speed reading)
ReadMe! (Android, iOS) is an ebook reader with premium speed reading features powered by Spritz's technology, allowing subscribers to blaze through their DRM-free ebooks with minimal fuss. ReadMe!'s speed reading mode combines the RSVP method with a method that automatically highlights the "optical recognition point" in red for easier word identification. The app can be set to read up to 450 words per minute, or up to 1,000 when logged in to a Spritz account. Other features include a variety of color themes, bookmarks and everyday ebook reading functionality. However, Spritz requires users to be connected online, though subscribers can set books for offline speed reading.
Acceleread (iOS: Free)
Less an individual speed reading app and closer to a speed reading course, Acceleread comes with a slew of tutorials, training tools and exercises to build up your skills in a variety of ways, with the app claiming to produce results in as little as 10 days. A particularly useful feature of the app is the ability to import your own DRM-free epub books for use as training tool or to be read with any of the app's speed reading tools. Acceleread provides a limited selection of tools in the free version, with an in-app purchase unlocking the entire feature set ($4.99 iPhone, $7.99 iPad or $9.99 for both).
Accelerator (iOS: $2.99)
Formerly known as Velocity, Accelerator is an iOS speed reading tool that embraces the RSVP technique of flashing single words to users in quick succession. Where Accelerator shines is its ability to grab text, rich text and documents from various sources, such as Mail, saved Web articles, your device clipboard and various 'read it later' services such as Pocket and Instapaper. Users can save Web articles in Safari straight into Accelerator, and a specialized typeface is designed to help dyslexic readers.
Boba (iOS: Free)
Boba is a Spritz-enabled iOS browser and Safari extension that allows you to speed read content articles and content from your favorite websites and blogs. Users can speed read content within Boba, or throw content from Safari through action extensions, with configurable reading speed, allowing users to find a word per minute rate that they find comfortable. Word of warning? Since this is a Spritz app, you'll need to be connected online to speed read.
QuickReader (iOS: $4.99)
QuickReader is another iOS speed reading app that provides you with a machine-assisted speed reading experience, combining a configurable reader with access to a wealth of public domain ebooks and the option to upload your own documents, web pages, and email. Users can set reading speed and reader colors, as well as the number of words or lines per chunk of highlighted text, allowing for a single-word-style RSVP, or more sizable word or line chunks.
SpeedRead with Spritz (Android: $0.99)
SpeedRead with Spritz is an Android speed reading tool that allows you to speed read content from a wide variety of Android apps that use "Text To Speech" (TTS) mode. Simply create and log in to your Spritz account, then configure your Text To Speech settings, and you're good to go. You can speed read from a variety of apps, such as Pocket, Google Play Books, Moon+ and more. As long as your favorite reader app can read it in TTS mode, SpeedRead can then Spritz it for you. As with the other Spritz-powered apps, SpeedRead does need you to be online for Spritz to process the speed reading, so that's something to consider.
ReadQuick (iOS) (Free, with $9.99 premium unlock)
iOS speed reading app ReadQuick transitioned to a freemium model, while also providing an expanded feature set to premium users. ReadQuick's free version uses the RSVP technique, flashing words one at a time at anywhere from 250 to 1,000 words per minute to avoid eye movement and subvocalization. Users can read text taken from clipboards, URLs, services such as Pocket, Instapaper or Feedly, and ReadQuick's partners such as LongReads. Upgrading to premium provides users with the option to flash groups of words for speed reading, multi-device sync and a full article viewer mode.
OutRead (iOS: $4.99)
OutRead made its mark using the "meta guide" speed reading technique of highlighting words in a column of text, guiding eye movements and providing a sped-up version of conventional reading, but the app has also embraced the RSVP method of flashing words in quick succession. OutRead can pull material from a variety of sources, such as Pocket, Readability and Instapaper, as well as your own imported DRM-free ePub files, Word, RTF or TXT files, as well as text from your clipboard. There's even a built-in downloader for public domain ebooks to start you out.
Reading Trainer (Android, iPad and iPhone, Windows Phone: $2.49)
Another app that's less a speed reading tool so much as a comprehensive speed reading course, Reading Trainer is available for users of Android, iPad, iPhone and Windows Phone devices. Reading Trainer comes with a variety of speed reading courses and exercises to improve your natural reading rate, complete with statistics tracking, retention tests and minigames. Less a tool for assisted reading, Reading Trainer nevertheless builds up your reading skills for reading physical and electronic papers, books and documents without relying on a power-assisted app crutch.
A Faster Reader (Android: Free)
A Faster Reader uses the same RSVP method as Spritz to quickly flash words on the screen for app-assisted speed reading all for free. A Faster Reader is compatible with a variety of reader services such as Pocket, Zite and Feedly, while also allowing users to select and share text from other sources such as Evernote or Google Keep. The app comes with a variety of interface themes, and offers configurable speeds, though the free version is throttled to a maximum of 350 words per minute. An in-app purchase to premium removes this limitation and adds support for the Pebble smart watch, among other features.