Tag Archives: reading

Not a fan of Flipboard? Here are three alternative reading apps

Not a fan of Flipboard? With their acquisition of Zite, another big reader app was taken out of the mix. If you don’t really like the magazine page-flipping style of Flipboard, there are other alternatives. Depending on how you find and consume content, one (or more!) of these might do the trick.

Newsstand

When Google rolled Currents into their new Newsstand app, it showed the app’s aim. We liked currents, but it was a bit clumsy. Rolling it into Newsstand livened it up in regard to functionality. The utility of Currents stayed, though.

Newsstand has both Magazines (subscription, obviously) and My News (Currents, more or less). The latter is your Flipboard competitor, and asks that you curate your own feeds — just like Flipboard. The difference is interface, which we find to be snappier and easier to navigate. It all happens via the slide-out menu from the left, and familiar “back” key up top. We really like the interface, too — simple, clean, and lets us scroll rather than flip.

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Feedly

Feedly replaced Google Reader for many of us, and it remains one of the better ways to consume information quickly. Though we think of RSS feeds as pretty boring, like a dull hammer, Feedly is a nice alternative. The interface is neat, and it works across platforms. A little bonus here is that it will use your Google+ as a sign-in, so you won’t have to remember yet another password.

More than any other on this list, Feedly allows for a lot of customization. You can choose to see headlines or more robust text/pictures in the main stream, and even toy with how you navigate the app and articles. Feedly also keeps with the new Android styling and slide-out menu, so it looks as good as it functions. We’re a big fan of double-tap to close an article, so give that a shot when you’re knee-deep in settings.

There is also a function to share to your favorite reading service (like the next on our list) or favorite social site with one tap. Feedly can be conjured to work just how you want it to, and lets you consume more info in a shorter time than anything else. There is a Feedly Pro, which is a bit expensive for the average reader among us, but a good option for information junkies. If you’re an avid consumer or info, Feedly might be your go-to, here.

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Pocket

Though Pocket has no “feed” to speak of, we like it for a few reasons. The app works by saving items shared to it for offline use and viewing later. It’s great for those times you come across an interesting article or video, but just don’t have time to check it out. It’s also great for being avaiable across platforms, and there’s even a Chrome extension and OS X app for it, which saves items to Pocket quickly and easily. Two views keep it simple, and the reading interface is a pure joy. Again, a Google+ log-in keeps it simple.

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One thing we find really neat about Pocket is the option to switch to web view rather than the stripped-down reading mode. Say a picture didn’t load properly, and it needs to be seen to make sense of the article. Just pop into web view, and you’ll see it as the Internet intended, all without leaving the app. Pretty sublime.

You can also choose which topics you want to read by tagging them. There are no folders to tuck topics away to, but you can tag them. We will admit the tagging feature is a bit cumbersome (you have to enter list view before tagging, and it’s much easier via the Chrome extension), but it works once you get it down. Sharing from Chrome mobile is nice, and Pocket seems to work with jsut about any app we’ve run across. For picking up where you left off, Pocket is fantastic.

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Conclusion

We were big fans of Zite, but Flipboard? Not so much. It’s a bit clumsy for quick reading, asking for more of a sit-down-and-read type of lifestyle, which doesn’t suit us most times. We don’t hate Flipboard, per se, but we’re not crazy about it. These three apps are meant to be alternatives, but could also serve to round out your Flipboard experience (if you’re a fan).

These three apps also represent different ways of consuming media. Newsstand is more like Flipboard to our mind, it just doesn’t ask that you “flip”. Feedly is great for consuming content quickly, while Pocket is wonderful for getting back to an article or video without having to remember where it was that you found it. If you have a suggestion for a reading app you like, please feel free to leave a comment and let us know which is your favorite.

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Syllable App Update Brings New Features to Popular Speed Reading App

Halifax, Canada – Syllable by Christian Selig, the best speed reading app for iPhone, has been updated to version 2.1, bringing a slew of new features to help users learn to read faster. In addition to the wealth of pre-existing features, such as Pocket, Instapaper and Readability integration as well as an incredibly customizable reading experience, version 2.1 brings support for syncing article completion back to the service to help users chew through their reading queue, a brand new article extracting engine for more accurate and speedy article extraction from links, custom URL support, and many other improvements to the app.

Syllable helps you learn to read much faster, while helping you to finish your Pocket, Instapaper and Readability article queues you’ve been meaning to get through. With the skills you learn from using Syllable, you’ll be able to read articles, novels, textbooks or really any kind of reading much, much faster.

Syllable is built to make it really simple to learn to read faster. The most common reason people read slowly is due to something called subvocalization – when reading you say the words to yourself, which limits how fast you can read to a speed similar to how fast you can talk. Syllable helps to reduce this subvocalization by pacing through the reading at a rate you define, only showing one word at a time, forcing you to not mouth the words to yourself.

The average person reads at a speed of 200 WPM, which is very close to how fast they’re able to talk. With the reading techniques used by Syllable, doubling or tripling (or more) your reading speed to 1000 WPM is possible.

Reviews for Syllable have been overwhelmingly positive, and creator Christian Selig has been amazed at how users have responded to the app, saying “Users love the design and simplicity of Syllable, while also being allowed great customization of the reading experience. I’ve received many emails from people telling me about how much Syllable has improved their reading speed and helped them finally get through their reading queue. I’m loving how much Syllable is helping users, and I’ll be continuing to put out updates that make Syllable better and better for its users, keeping it the best speed reading app on the App Store.”

Features:
* Learn to read much faster by silencing subvocalization
* Highly customizable reading experience
* Pocket, Instapaper and Readability integration
* Automatically extract article from given URLs
* Indicator of how long it will take to read article
* Night mode
* Custom URL support
* See how long it took to read an article
* Share progress with Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Device Requirements:
* iPhone, iPod touch and iPad
* Requires iOS 7.0 or later
* This app is optimized for iPhone 5
* 1.7 MB

Pricing and Availability:
Syllable 2.1 is available worldwide in the iTunes App Store for .99 USD in the Productivity category.

Christian Selig
Syllable 2.1
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Christian Selig is an independent iOS developer currently living in Toronto, Canada. He’s currently interning as an iOS Developer at Bionym Inc., but following the internship will finish up his degree in Computer Science at Dalhousie University in Halifax. He specializes in developing delightful iOS applications that make peoples’ lives easier and more enjoyable. All Material and Software (C) Copyright 2014 Christian Selig. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other trademarks and registered trademarks may be the property of their respective owners.

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Velocity for iPhone Released – First iOS 7 Speed Reading App

Based in New York – Velocity 1.0, the best speed reading app for iOS 7, now available on the App Store.

Lickability today released Velocity 1.0 for iOS on the App Store, the first iOS 7 speed reading app for iPhone and iPod touch devices.

Velocity lets you read text faster, one word at a time. With a well-studied technique called Rapid Serial Visual Presentation, Velocity can increase reading speeds to up to 1,000 words per minute. Velocity supports reading articles and documents from the web, Instapaper, Pocket, and more.

“We’re really excited to unveil this brand new app. We’ve been working for over 6 months to ensure that we have an incredibly polished, beautiful, and stable first release. We can’t wait to help people read faster than ever before and get through their personal reading lists in no time.” says Brian Capps, Velocity developer and co-founder of Lickability.

Velocity was designed and developed exclusively for iOS 7. With Dynamic Type, automatic background updating, and AirDrop support, the app feels at home on Apple’s latest OS release. 3 custom themes are designed for comfortable reading in any environment and users can even save web pages and documents to Velocity from apps like Safari and Mail. Velocity is a world class speed reading app on iOS and surpasses its competitors by leaps and bounds.

Device Requirements:
* iPhone, iPod touch and iPad
* Requires iOS 7.0 or later
* This app is optimized for iPhone 5
* 2.4 MB

Pricing and Availability:
Velocity – Speed Reader 1.0 is .99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Productivity category.

Velocity – Speed Reader 1.0
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Lickability is a small startup app development company obsessed with designing delightful apps for Apple platforms. The company was founded in January 2011 and is based in New York, NY. Lickability has been and will always be concerned with all the small details that make apps great. Their first app, Quotebook, has been a whirlwind success garnering praise from Apple, Gizmodo, The Verge, and many more. Copyright (C) 2013 Lickability. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, iPod touch, and Mac are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other trademarks and registered trademarks may be the property of their respective owners.

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