ReadQuick – Speed reading on the iPhone

ReadQuick – Speed reading on the iPhone

Download ReadQuick ($9.99)

Today’s app is ReadQuick, a splendiferous “speed-reading” tool for both the iPhone and iPad at $9.99 and requires iOS 8.0 and higher.

I don’t recommend using ReadQuick for EVERYTHING that lawyers need to read – it’s not good for reading court documents, or briefs, or books.

I use ReadQuick specifically to catch up on all the other reading that’s sitting on my computer or iPad including online news and magazine articles, web zines, long blog posts, “longreads,” etc.

I’ve always been fascinated by people that can “speed-read.” And I dream of a world where I can plug into my brain and ingest a ton of information like Neo learning Kung Fu.

Apparently, I’m not the only one fascinated by the concept. FoxNews technology correspondent Clayton Morris has to read a glut of news stories and articles to prepare for a show and he needed a better way to quickly & efficiently ingest all that info.

That’s why he developed ReadQuick, and I assume that he still uses it, although I don’t know how much he’s affiliated with the app any longer.

ReadQuick pulls data from a variety of online sources. You could simply copy a URL and paste that into the app, or you can save stories you come across into “read it later” services like Instapaper or Pocket. You can even pull info from Evernote and Feedly.

My routine is that I follow several blogs in Feedly as RSS feeds and find great content there (usually through Reeder on my iPhone or Mr. Reader on iPad – reviews coming soon although development on Mr. Reader was stopped in Sept. 2016). When I find an article I want to read, but don’t have the time to read it right then, I send it to Pocket. I can access my Pocket app to read the stories, or I can jump into ReadQuick and pull up the list of stories from Pocket.

ReadQuick isn’t “speed-reading” where people put a finger on a page, and quickly flick or scan it back and forth down the middle of the page. Most of those techniques tell you to keep your eyes in the middle of the page and your peripheral vision will fill in most of the other words for you.

The problem there is that your brain will stop on words, and “subvocalize” them in your head – sort of like sounding out words with your mouth. That takes time and slows down your reading.

ReadQuick uses a technique called Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (or RSVP) which displays ONE word at a time in a fixed position, very rapidly. You don’t have time to subvocalize. You’re not moving your eyes, your fingers, or anything else – you’re just being fed information directly through your eyeballs.

The average person reads at about 200 words per minute (WPM). ReadQuick starts off by throwing you words at 250 WPM. That will feel soooo slow after just a few minutes of reading, and so you can swipe to the right and use the slider to ratchet up your neural input. You can also toggle the day/night mode and try the interesting dyslexia font.

Double-tapping the screen starts and stops the info flow.

Swiping to the left lets you favorite, or delete, or share a story.

Not to brag, but I’m up around 580 WPM at this point, although I will sometimes slow it down or speed it up depending upon the subject matter, or length of the article.

Speaking of which, I really like that ReadQuick displays the total time it’s going to take me to read an entire article – depending upon your WPM speed.

When I read the “traditional” way – either with a paper book, an ebook, a website article, etc. I get easily distracted but ReadQuick gets me into a zen-like trance. I just stare at a single point on my iPhone’s screen and the words stream right into my eye sockets.

Now I’m not saying I comprehend every little tiny nuance of a story when using ReadQuick, but I certainly get the general gist of the story and some relevant info nuggets that are burned into my brain. If I need to focus more, I can toggle into the text of the story or go into the Pocket app where my eyes can bleed all over the story as much as necessary.

I’m usually using ReadQuick on the iPhone in landscape mode – I just find that it works better holding the smaller screen in one hand.

Your progress and subscriptions will sync via iCloud to your iPad as well.

ReadQuick has experimented with a couple of different pricing models with in-app purchases, vs. one-time purchase. But today, it’s a one-time purchase of $9.99 which now includes the “formerly premium” feature to show multiple words at-a-time instead of just a single word.

ReadQuick is worth your time if you find you have a glut of general reading that you need to catch up on. In fact, it could actually SAVE you time, and will certainly make you a little more efficient.

Download ReadQuick ($9.99)