Outread ($2.99) is a unique app for iPhone that’s designed to train your eyes to read content faster and not subvocalize each word you see. The new app takes a different approach to similar apps like ReadQuick ($9.99), which I reviewed last year.
A great deal of the articles published on MakeUseOf and elsewhere on the Internet are not written for speed reading per se, but narrative articles and fictional pieces don’t always need to be read word for word.
Let’s take a look at how Outread works.
How It Works
For now, Outread is optimized only for the iPhone, though it can also be used on the iPad. The main interface presents downloaded articles in full screen view, minus distracting advertisements and other unnecessary content. The app uses a yellow marker to guide your eyes through the article.
This technique helps you read at a faster pace and unlike the similar app ReadQuick, all of the text is present so that reading feels natural. You can pause automatic scrolling at any time by tapping anywhere on the screen.
Even if speed reading is not your thing, Outread may still be useful because it automatically scrolls down the page as you read, similar to how the famous Instapaper does it using motion detection.
The marker size of the of the highlighter and the reading speed in Outread can be adjusted, from say an average of 320 words per minute to an extreme 1000 words per minute. The font size of text can also be increased and decreased.
I find that I adjust the reading speed of an article based my prior knowledge of what I’m reading. For example, I can read an article about jazz or an Apple product faster than I can read a document about environmental science.
The reading speed in Outread can be set as low as 50 words per minute, but the goal should be to challenge yourself to read faster while maintaining comprehension of the content. Notice also that Outread displays the amount of time it will take to read an article based on the set speed.
While you can copy and paste a URL to download an article in Outread, content can also be synced from the read later services, Pocket, Instapaper (with an Instapaper subscription), and Readability. Important articles will be saved locally for offline reading.
Under Preferences you can also install a bookmarklet for the iOS version of Safari to quickly open articles in Outread.
If you save a lot of content for reading later, you will like how Outread allows for filtering imported articles by date published, article length, or title. Articles are also categorized by where they were imported.
If you’re worried about data costs you can select to download articles only via Wi-Fi, as well as other options like auto archiving articles after reading them and the choice of a serif font for text. The most recent update of the app also includes an option for a dark theme for night time reading.
Read More By Reading Faster
Outread is an interesting app for those of you looking for read faster. In the past I’ve used ReadQuick for speed reading purposes, but I now prefer Outread for keeping the full body of text present as I read. And I don’t speed-read all articles: most of us actually comprehend content better when highlighting and annotating text using services like Diigo.
Outread definitely helps me get through the many articles I save to my Pocket account, but I do however look forward to an optimized iPad version.
Download: Outread ($2.99)
Let us know what you think of speed reading and the technique used in Outread.