Velocity is a new speed reader app for your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad that helps you read faster by presenting one word at a time using a technique called Rapid Serial Visual Presentation. Studies have shown that using Rapid Serial Visual Presentation helps increase reader’s reading speed because it forces the reader to stop reading out loud inside their head (subvocalization), and suppresses the tendency for eyes to backtrack the line while reading and searching for the end of the sentence. Generally a reader’s average reading speed is two hundred words per minute, but Velocity supports reading speeds up to one thousand words per minute.
Under Settings, you can change the font from the default Helvetica Neue to either Avenir, Courier New, Georgia or OpenDyslexic.
OpenDyslexic is a font that has been available for free for almost a year. It was developed to increase readability for readers with dyslexia. Studies do show that using OpenDyslexic improves reading skills for some dyslexic readers. The designer Abelardo Gonzalez explains how OpenDyslexic works:
Your brain can sometimes do funny things to letters. OpenDyslexic tries to help prevent some of these things from happening. Letters have heavy weighted bottoms to add a kind of ‘gravity’ to each letter, helping to keep your brain from rotating them around in ways that can make them look like other letters. Consistently weighted bottoms can also help reinforce the line of text. The unique shapes of each letter can help prevent flipping and swapping.
There are three different themes you can choose from while reading: a traditional black-on-white, white-on-black (easier to read at night), or sepia.
By default, Velocity starts you off at a reading speed of three hundred words per minute. You can adjust how fast or how slow the words are presented by adjusting the slider at the bottom of the screen. Increasing the speed of the app over time can actually help improve your reading speed on static pages, too.
Velocity is designed for iOS 7 using the same visual elements, interfaces and swiping gestures. Right away it works with AirDrop (on iPhone 5 and newer, iPod touch 5th generation, and iPad fourth generation), and Dynamic Type. You can copy a website link from Safari, or copy text and then switch to Velocity, which will detect there is something in the clipboard and ask if you would like to save it or read it. If you choose Save, it saves it to the iPhone section within the app.
You are also able to install a “Read In Velocity” bookmark which will then save articles from Safari to the app’s reading list.
You are also able to use Velocity’s built in web browser to search the web and then save articles to a Rapid Serial Visual Presentation.
When you save the articles to Velocity, it downloads them for offline viewing so you can read them without an internet connection, which is perfect for use while traveling. If you use Pocket or have an Instapaper subscription you are able to sign into these accounts in Velocity and see your offline lists. You can also import Microsoft Office Word Documents, into Velocity.
However, Velocity does not import Pages files. Since new iOS devices include Pages for free as part of iOS 7 activation and Apple now provides free access to Pages on icloud.com, this compatibility issue will hopefully be resolved in a future update.
Velocity is available in the App Store for $2.99. I have been using it for reading the news and articles for school. I feel more accomplished and that I have read more in a shorter period of time, which is great for my busy lifestyle.
If you’d like to get Velocity for free, we have a few copies to give away to 9to5Mac readers. To claim yours, just be one of the first to enter one of the following promo codes into iTunes: