What are speed reading apps for Kindle
Speed reading with handbrake: Kindle app integrates Word Runner
18.09.2015Johannes Haupt (specialist editor) 3 comments
Amazon is the first major e-reading provider to integrate a speed reading function into its Kindle apps. Word Runner only shows one word at a time and is therefore similar to applications such as Spritz !, but has one crucial difference.
Word Runner: Speed Reading in Kindle App for Android
Together with four new Fire Tablets and a new Fire TV, Amazon also presented new software yesterday, Thursday. The Kindle app for Android and Fire OS has a new function called Word Runner, discovered the specialist blog The Digital Reader - Amazon did not mention Word Runner in press releases.
There is already a clear explanatory video on an Amazon info page. In eBooks that are initially only in English, one word is always displayed, otherwise the screen remains white. This seems rather strange at first, especially on large-format tablets, but enables very focused and quick reading.
Flexible speed, rewind function
Such a display is known from dedicated speed reading applications such as Spritz !, whose box was already integrated at bild.de, among others. Analogous to this, Word Runner also offers a multi-level adjustment of the text speed, from 100 up to 900 words per minute. The value is flexible, text is accelerated for simple sentences and slowed down for paragraphs, difficult words and insertions. For comparison: Experienced readers will plow through this relatively mundane news article at around 250-350 words per minute.
Word Runner has one crucial difference to Spritz & Co.: A built-in brake, which Amazon calls exactly that. With a tap on the "Brake" button, the text cassette stops and can be rewound word for word. The function forgives short phases of lack of concentration and, to a certain extent, takes the pressure off the reader.
As with the new text formatting, Word Runner is not yet available for every book from the start, nor is it suitable for every title. Because text comprehension can suffer if you read it faster, the function makes more sense for easily consumable genre reading (action blasts, summer romance) than it does with meaningful novels. And those who want to relax and switch off while reading will keep their hands off the function anyway.
As an additional option, Word Runner is a welcome addition to the range of e-reading functions and would also be desirable in other providers' reading apps - some independent apps already support speed reading. On eBook readers, the image build-up times of e-ink techniques are still fundamentally in the way of implementation. Of course, you can also read faster on e-paper screens. More information on speed reading plus a comparison of (e-) learning offers is available on our Speed Reading info page.
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