In our modern lives, most of us are always struggling with information overload. We have many things to read every day, whether it’s emails, webpages, social media, or traditional books and magazines. Speed reading apps on your iPhone or iPad can help you do this better by training your mind to rapidly recognize and absorb phrases without needing to identify every individual word. According to multiple websites, most adults’ average reading speed is around 200 to 250 words per minute. Several digital tools promise to help you boost this to process information faster. Try it out for yourself with these best speed reading apps for iPhone and iPad.
Do speed reading apps work?
This is debatable and subjective according to a person’s learning style and individual strengths. While you might learn to read faster, you may not fully comprehend what you’re reading. According to Live Science, reading is a complex activity that involves coordination between multiple mental systems. So, scientists are skeptical about the effectiveness of speed reading.
Nonetheless, it is fun to challenge your brain and see how fast you can go, making speed reading apps worth a try. I tested out several from the App Store, and I’ve picked out five, which I found to be the most helpful and engaging. So go ahead and work out your brain.
What are the best speed reading apps for iOS?
1. Outread: Speed Reading Trainer
This app helps you focus on reading small chunks of text at a time, gradually increasing the speed. It quickly became my favorite way to improve my reading skills. You can choose between two modes, namely Flashing and Highlighting.
In the flashing mode, individual words flash on the screen, and you can adjust the speed to test your reading skills. In the highlighting mode, you have to follow the highlighted sections of text, and again, you can adjust the speed according to your needs.
I like how you can customize many aspects such as the font style, font size, highlighter contrast, etc. Further, you get even more options when you upgrade to the paid Outread+.subscription. You can add almost anything to your reading list, such as ebooks, copied text, online articles, etc. With Outread+, you can even sync with external services such as Pocket and Instapaper.
Lastly, you can build a reading routine by setting reminders from within the app. This system’s holistic approach makes it my top choice for that ideal blend of functionality, simplicity, and effectiveness.
What I loved: The variety of options presented in a clean and easy interface.
What could be better: The ability to sync across multiple devices would be helpful.
Price: Free ($4.99 for Monthly Subscription)
This one’s much more than a speed-reading app – it offers complex brain and memory training. It uses a reading and comprehension test to measure your workout’s progress, which provides helpful insight.
Reading is a complex cognitive function that actively uses working memory, focus, peripheral vision, and encoding and decoding. As these skills develop and get sharper, reading speed increases. The more developed these cognitive skills are, the greater the speed of reading and comprehension.
When you open the app, you can choose to go for memory training, speed reading, or complex brain training. I found the visual puzzles both fun and challenging. It made me look forward to opening the app every day to get my mental workout.
Further, the app is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Ukrainian, Russian, Japanese, and Chinese. You can change the language from the Settings menu. It also includes a calendar to keep track of your brain workouts and map your progress.
What I loved: Multiple brain-training options with a progress tracker.
What could be better: Could focus more on speed reading.
Price: Free ( $5.99 for Monthly Subscription)
3. Speed Reading – read faster
Check out this speed reading app that doubles up as a memory and attention trainer. It’s aimed at helping you quickly memorize numbers and words, increase the ability to concentrate, expand the field of view and significantly increase your reading speed.
The comprehensive features make this app particularly remarkable. It includes a full-fledged reading course along with training and motivation. In addition to speed reading, there are several training modes such as the neural accelerator, the Schulte table, word pairs, line of sight, number retention, and more.
It will help you save time while reading, quickly find key themes in a text, train your memory, and expand your vocabulary. The app lets you download and read books in fb2, epub, and txt formats. This makes it an excellent app for college students, teachers, and everyone in general.
But the most important thing is that reading speed development allows you to think differently, solve problems, think out of the box, and have more time at work and home.
What I loved: Easy to use with lots of different challenges to try.
What could be better: A bit slow and could do with an update.
Price: Free ( $3.49 for full course)
4. Spreeder: Speed Reading E-Reader and Trainer
This is one of the most well-known and best speed reading apps with a clean design and intuitive interface. It’s also pretty customizable in terms of font, size, speed, number of words, etc.
It lets you import all your books and documents for speed reading through all your essential information.
The app works on the principle of eliminating all your bad reading habits, such as subvocalization and regression. This makes you gradually read faster, both online and offline. It’s easy to add reading material to your library, and the app retains your position so you can pick it up from wherever you left off. Moreover, it stores everything in the cloud, and all your devices automatically stay in sync.
You can install it on unlimited devices and see your improvement over time, thanks to detailed reports that keep you motivated. Spreeder has been developed in conjunction with leading experts to make reading faster, easier, and more enjoyable.
What I loved: It’s one of the most simple-to-use and effective speed-reading apps out there.
What could be better: Dark mode would make it easier on the eyes. Moreover, the app hasn’t been updated in a while, so it could do with some upgrades.
5. Speed Reading IQ
This app offers more than 20 exercises to develop your speed reading skills and retention. Some of the options support books in ePub and books. So, you can read whatever you like while training yourself to comprehend faster.
Further, the application has been translated into 36 languages, including English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, French, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Indonesian, Turkish, and German.
When you open the app, you will see all the different challenge options, from speed reading to word search, number search, symbol recognition, etc. Each challenge has levels that you can complete to earn five stars.
Further, there are audio instructions to make things easier, and some of the exercises can be used with your own books too. It’s an excellent app to do something constructive in your spare time.
What I loved: Interesting and unique exercises that workout the brain.
What could be better: The user interface could be improved. It’s a bit difficult to read, and the opening screen has distracting animations.
Price: Free ($1.99 to unlock all exercises)
Q. What is the trick to speed reading?
The trick lies in running how to scan and pick up the main words and phrases instead of focussing on every individual word. Once you get used to grasp the main concepts in a text, you will naturally begin to read faster. Of course, this takes some time and can differ from person to person.
Q. What is the average reading speed?
It’s about 200-400 wpm. Speed reading is usually done at a rate of around 400-700 wpm. Anything above 500-600 wpm means sacrificing comprehension, although this varies from person to person.
Q. How long does it take to learn to speed read?
On average, between 2-6 weeks depending on individual capabilities and how much time you spend practicing daily.
Q. Is speed reading effective for studying?
Yes, it can be useful as long as you strike a balance between your speed and comprehension. It also depends on the subject matter. Anything above 500-600 wpm will probably not be helpful when it comes to retaining information.
Read faster with the best speed reading apps!
I guess speed reading is one of those things that works like a charm for some people but just doesn’t appeal to others. Which group are you in? Try out some of these speed reading apps and let me know your experience in the comments below. You might also like to check out our roundup of the best education apps to boost your learning process.