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speed reading app ipadIf you’re anything like me, you’ve got a few hundred books you’d still like to read. With the speed at which new works enter the scene, that number goes up more often than down; and that’s not taking into account the jaw-dropping number of periodicals and Internet articles you’d like to read ‘if you only had the time’.

Obviously, as you read more, you tend to grow better at it over time. If that’s not enough, there’s always speed reading – a collective name for a number of reading techniques that allow you to crank up your reading speed like you wouldn’t believe.

There are a number of ways you can practice your speed reading, like the valuable tip to stop musing the words in your mind. One way to get rid of this annoying habit is by tracing the words on a page with your finger faster than you can subvocalise. Or you can use any of an assortment of top notch speed reading tools available to the masses, some which were previously covered at MakeUseOf.

This article focuses on such tools that are available on the iPad, so you can practice your speed reading wherever you are.

QuickReader ($4.99)

Quickreader is a speed reading tool available for the iPhone, iPod Touch and the iPad. Rather than taking the conventional approach, QuickReader shows the full text on your iPad screen, and uses highlights to set the pace. It’ll be a bit harder to keep up this way, with nothing preventing you from lagging behind or rereading parts of the text, but it provides a better representation of where you’ll eventually want to end up.

speed reading app ipad


There’s a free version of QuickReader available as well, with a limited number of books preloaded into the application. The full version, which retails at just under $5, allows you to load your own books onto the device as well. As you might be interested in knowing, full version application variants for young, Spanish, German and French readers are available as well.

Read Quick ($3.99)

Like most speed reading applications, Read Quick flashes blocks of words across the screen at a pre-set pace. In the case of Read Quick, that’s one word at a time. Whenever you’re reading this way, you can double-tap the screen to change the reading speed (you’ll want it to increase in the long run), and see how long it’ll take you to finish the article at a preset page.

When you’re done, you can view some quick stats and use the share buttons below the article the share the article in question and brag about your reading prowess.

speed reading app

What makes Read Quick interesting in my eyes is that it plugs into a number of quality long format story sources and news essentials, like LongReads and Talking Points Memo. Alternatively, you can connect Read Quick to your Instapaper account, and read those articles you neglected during your adventures on the web. Whatever source you pick, the articles are eventually displayed in a list with titles and summaries, which is not only easy on the eyes, but also displays the time it’ll take you to finish each article at the current rate of words per minute.

Acceleread ($ 7.99)

Acceleread is the power horse of iPad speed reading applications. You can pick your material from the extensive preloaded library, or import your own, and use both speed reading styles outlined above (word flash, or moving highlights) to work up your pace. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

speed reading app ipad

Acceleread’s greatest asset is its dynamic training course, which leads you through a number of different exercises and incorporates your performance during them in its design. Alternatively, you can use any of the multiple practice modes using the preloaded or your own material, and check your performance using Acceleread’s built-in speed reading tests. Yes, the application costs nearly double of the two previous, but has more than double the functionality.

Have you ever given speed reading a try? Do you want to? Let us know what motivates you – or what’s keeping you back – in the comments section below the article.

Image Credit: / winnond

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  1. Linda Troup
    April 13, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    I blog about dog health and wellness and I'm always reading. I can get more information to my readers if I am able to process it quickly. I'm really looking forward to get started on speed reading

  2. Alexander
    March 25, 2013 at 8:39 am

    One more speed reading app for ebooks and articles

  3. Ryan
    November 3, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Another app that just came out is called RapidReading...

    I've developed it and it's designed to help you learn speed reading as quickly as possible. It's a free app to download for now so if you're interested in learning to speed read I think it's worth trying. :-)

  4. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    October 30, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Read Quick is jarring. It steals away all the wonder of reading and turns it into flashcard-style memorization. I'd rather not read than having to see the word one by one.
    What's the use of speed reading if you don;t comprehend what you're reading? Reading a whole sentence is how your eyes naturally do. It'll help you digesting the meaning.

    I agree to Yang Yang Li. With enough practice your reading speed and comprehension would increase. My rate is 780 words/minute, give or take depending of what kind of material I'm reading. I've never learnt any speed reading techniques. It's simply because I love to read, and I wish I could finish what I'm reading so I can move on the next item.

    Mind you, fictions are meant to be enjoyed, so if you read faster than its intended pace you won't be as satisfied. Sometimes you need to calm down and let the words ingrained in your mind.

    • Simon Slangen
      October 30, 2012 at 5:54 pm

      You're right, but I don't think these tools are meant to provide a long-term solution. Rather, flashing the words at you trains you to interpret the words at a glance instead of by subvocalising. The next step is to do the same with sentences, and ultimately even paragraphs. Once you get the hang of it, you can do it without the app—which is, ultimately, our long-term goal.

      You should still have 80% or more reading comprehension, which you get by adjusting the wpm to a just-above-comfortable level. When you're growing proficient, you can crank that up a bit (keeping the comprehension rate), and so on.

      tl;dr: The tools are useful to gradually increase your reading pace and get rid of bad reading habits, without decreasing overal comprehension. You can then extrapolate what you learn here to other (more comfortable) ways of reading.

      • Lisa Santika Onggrid
        October 31, 2012 at 1:33 pm

        I see your point. Still, if that be the case, I'd rather get one sentence at a time than word per word, which could hurt your comprehension. Translating what you read one word at a time is prone to mistake.

        Well, while I have little to no use for this kind of software, I know some people who might need them. Now that I think about it, it can help dyslexics. Thanks.

  5. Tan Nguyen Nhat
    October 30, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Yes, I'll purchase this one now, haha.

  6. Gabriel Barron
    October 30, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    I actually bought a book that i tried to learn how to speed read from. I just had trouble with staying engaged with the content. maybe these apps will keep me interested.

  7. Jeremiah Iliffe
    October 30, 2012 at 9:25 am

    spreeder is not for ipad but it is a great tool for practising speed reading on the internet. It also has a handy bookmarklet.

  8. Boni Oloff
    October 30, 2012 at 3:26 am

    I cannot download acceleread from my country, very bad.. It is shown as Free in the appstore.

  9. Yang Yang Li
    October 29, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    There's only one thing needed for speed reading, the will to read faster. Most people read at a leisurely pace, not realizing they can speed up their reading just by trying to read faster.
    To maintain the fast reading speed however, requires stamina and practice. One needs to get used to the faster reading speed, which is difficult because it requires the brain to process more information.
    Learning to speed read is a great way to exercise one's brain while doing what one usually does. The mental conditioning aquired will be useful in many situations. Being able to think faster is a great skill to have!
    Source: Multiple speed reading books I have read and personal experience.

    • Boni Oloff
      October 30, 2012 at 2:37 pm

      Wow, everybody can read faster, but reading sometimes not only about reading but more to understanding i think. :)

      • Lisa Santika Onggrid
        October 30, 2012 at 4:38 pm

        Yeah. Speed reading without comprehension is a big joke.

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      October 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm

      I've never learnt any of the so-called speed reading techniques, but I can vouch on that statement. I'm a voracious reader and can finish 2-3 novels in one sitting. Many of my friends thought I'm just skimming pages over pages while I think I'm reading normally. It also depends to how much you're usually reading. The more you read, the faster your brain could process the information. Before you know it, your reading speed score might shock your teacher (she thought I was cheating).