ReadQuick, the speed-reading app for iPad, has been updated to version 1.5 today. The new version brings the app to the iPhone and iPod touch.
For those who aren’t familiar, ReadQuick is an app that presents a new way to read web articles. Rather than present you the entire article as one page, ReadQuick shows you the entire article one word at a time. That may sound inconvenient, but it turns out it’s actually much nicer than it sounds. Keep reading for our full review of the brand new iPhone version.
The idea behind ReadQuick may sound gimmicky, and I’ll admit that upon first seeing how it worked, I wasn’t entirely sure it was going to be very effective. After using the app to read a few articles, I’m actually surprised at just how well it works.
To begin, you can select from a variety of news and media websites or add your own favorite sites to your reading list. You can also import your Pocket or Instapaper queue. Each article lists the number of words and calculates how long it will take to read based on your current words-per-minute setting.
The reading interface is simple. Double-tap the screen to begin scrolling through the individual words in your selected article. The default speed is 250 words-per-minute, which will likely be fast enough that most people will be able to understand what they’re reading. Because I’ve always been a fast reader, I turned my speed up to about 325 words-per-minute. I found this speed to be just a little too quick to catch every individual word, but found I was understanding everything I read. Thankfully there’s also a setting to automatically reduce the speed when a longer word is displayed, giving you more time to catch what it says.
While reading, you can also double-tap the screen to pause. This gives you access to settings such as font size, night mode, reading speed, sharing options, and a button to reset the article to the beginning. If you really need to see something as a full-page article, the pause screen also has a button to open the post in a browser panel, from which you can optionally move into Safari or Google Chrome.
Upon completing an article, you will be presented with a screen telling you the average speed at which you read and the total time that it took you to read the entire article. You can view cumulative statistics for all of your previously-read articles from the “Your Stats” page in the sidebar.
A few other useful features round out ReadQuick: a “timed playlist” feature that allows you to create a list of articles to be played back-to-back, and a favorites list that allows you to keep track of your favorite articles to return to later.
Overall I was quite impressed with the way ReadQuick allowed me to parse the contents of any given article at a much faster rate than I usually would. Typically I get stuck halfway through an article and go read something else before remembering an hour later that I was trying to read something. With ReadQuick, I was able to knock out a fairly lengthy article in just a few minutes without getting distracted.
If you’re questioning whether the app is really that effective, consider this: I cranked my reading speed up to the maximum of 800 words-per-minute and still understood what I was reading. I have never read anything that quickly the “regular” way, let alone understood what I was reading. I also handed the app to my brother and asked him to read an article at 255 words per minute. I stopped it part of the way through and asked if he had gotten anything out of it. He quoted it back to me nearly word-for-word. By the way, he’s dyslexic.
If you find yourself constantly distracted when trying to read, or just want to read web articles faster, ReadQuick is a fantastic way to do that. The customizable reading speed ensures that you’ll always get through each article as quickly as possible without getting lost, and it can actually help make you a faster non-speed reader as well.
ReadQuick 1.5 is available as a free update for existing users of the iPad version, and it is $4.99 for new users on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.