Speed Through Articles with ReadQuick

Let’s face it: there’s a lot of content out there, but so little time to read it. In response, popular services such as Instapaper and Pocket have emerged and make keeping track of these articles a much easier process. But along with not forgetting what you want to read, ReadQuick is hoping to help you actually consume that content more rapidly by flashing it across your iPhone’s screen one word at a time.

Can this seemingly simple method shrink your reading list and increase the speed at which you read? Find out more after the jump.

Ready, Set, Read!

To get started with ReadQuick, it is recommended that you connect the app to your existing — or freshly created — Instapaper and Pocket accounts. Now, this is not a necessary step, but if you choose to complete it, you will have no shortage of sources for reading materials. In addition to whatever you discover while surfing the Web or messing around on social media, ReadQuick also has Featured Sources. Within that tab, users will be taken to recent and top articles from the app’s content partners, including The Morning News, Longreads, The Feature, Talking Points Memo, GigaOM, Techmeme, TechHive and Macword.

With ReadQuick, words from the article flash on the screen one at a time.

With ReadQuick, words from the article flash on the screen one at a time.

Selecting an article will cue it up for reading. To get it going, you will simply double tap the screen. Prior to that, though, you’ll want to select how many words per minute (WPM) you would like to flash across the screen. WPM can creep by with as few as 50 words per minute to as many as 800, so there is quite a range for variability and improvement should you want to alter those rates.

Tap the toolbar along the bottom of the app to increase or decrease the number of words per minute.

Tap the toolbar along the bottom of the app to increase or decrease the number of words per minute.

Here’s one bonus feature, though it probably conflicts with the purpose of ReadQuick. If you want to read the article the traditional way — directly from the website on which it was posted — you can do so by simply tapping the share button when an article is cued up for reading. Tapping it opens the website within ReadQuick. Here, you will be able to scroll through it at your leisure, as well as see the article in its entirety. You will also be able to access any multimedia elements that may be found on the page, such as links, pictures and videos, as you would normally do on Safari.

ReadQuick’s Abilities

As mentioned before, once you have an article cued up that you would like to read, double tap the screen to get it started. Words are going to start flying across the screen and, in order to fully speed read, you will need to pay attention. (It should probably be noted that those who are easily distracted may find this app to be an instant waste of time. But for those with more composed attention spans, read on.)

On the left, a list of sources where you can save and find reading material. On the right are some of the sites in the "Featured" button.

On the left, a list of sources where you can save and find reading material. On the right are some of the sites in the “Featured” button.

If things are moving too fast or too slow, double tap the screen again to pause the article. While it is paused, you can also make any necessary adjustments to improve your reading experience. Within the toolbar that is found at the bottom of the screen, not only can you adjust up or down the speed of the words per minute, but you will also be able to change the look of those words.

There is a letter icon, which you tap and will be allowed to change ReadQuick’s background color from “day” to “night” mode. Night mode is just the opposite of the usual color scheme — usual being black text on a white background — making the black the background color and changing to white the words going across the screen.

ReadQuick looks like the image on the left, but "Night" version flips the colors for easier reading.

ReadQuick looks like the image on the left, but “Night” version flips the colors for easier reading.

The size of those words can also be increased by choosing the large option instead of default small. Of course, all of these settings can be changed back should lighting or other influencing factors require it.

The Fine Print

It is a given that there will be some skeptics out there wondering how an app can help increase the rate at which one reads and that is a valid concern, especially given this app’s pricier tag.

With ReadQuick flashing words across the screen, users will find themselves seeing the words and recognizing them. What is “removed” from the process is the step that many people take when they read to themselves, and that is “saying” the word inside their heads, which can slow readers down.

In that regard, ReadQuick succeeds in speeding up the number of words a person gets through. What is tougher to measure is the comprehension of those words. With ReadQuick’s method — and depending on how fast those words are moving across the screen — it is possible to absorb quite a bit of information. But it will take some trial and error to find a reading speed you are comfortable with. It will take even more to enhance your skills off the screen, where lines breaks and turning pages can affect the rate you get through a book, magazine or newspaper.

Share your articles and your ReadQuick stats on social media.

Share your articles and your ReadQuick stats on social media.

It is possible to achieve improvement, given one’s discipline and regular use of the app. In many ways, ReadQuick helps by taking away conscious choices one would have to make in order to speed read. With ReadQuick’s rapid display, readers will not get fixated on a word, or have to look down or over — the flow of words is continuous, and if you did not understand something, you will have to trust that your mind will make the connections with the words that follow.

Though it doubles as an all-in-one, mobile bookmarker for any content you may find on the Internet, regardless of device, ReadQuick is a good tool for getting the gist of a feature-length piece that you may feel you “should” be reading, but if you want to fully absorb a writer’s work, you will likely want to stick to the original publication source.


Summary

Save and improve the speed at which you read online articles.

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