Productivity

Instapaper 6.2

Instapaper is one of my most used apps and it just had the best update ever, say hello to Instapaper 6.2.  I’ve been using Instapaper since mid 2012.  For those unfamiliar with what Instapaper is, it is an app that allows you to save nearly anything from the Internet for future reading/use.  I use it mainly for saving articles from my RSS feed for later reading.

I’ve never purchased the premium features but, with the latest release I am contemplating a change of mind.  In addition to the instant syncing and faster saving, Instapaper has made speed reading possible, a feature I am in much favor of.

I love to read and typically read on my Kindle every night.  I have the ability to read at around 600 words per minute normally but, have difficulty doing so on digital devices.  I was taught to follow my finger while reading and am quite successful doing so in a paper book but, unless I wear a glove cannot do so without turning pages.  I’ve used capped pens and even wooden chopsticks but, nothing feels natural.  I haven’t been able to replicate that natural feeling of reading on any digital device, until Instapaper’s speed reading.  Though not the same it is a phenomenal alternative.

Instapaper isn’t the first app to use these mechanics used to simulate speed reading but, I’ve never used any of them.  Instapaper’s blog wrote the following in describing the speed reading function:

“Speed reading in Instapaper uses rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP), showing you one word a time at the speed of your choosing. This method of speed reading is meant to help you eliminate subvocalization, that voice in the back of your mind repeating words as you read them, and reduce time lost scanning between words. The result is a more focused, faster reading experience.”

This feature is limited to 10 times per month unless you purchase Instapaper’s premium service.  I spent some time experimenting with this feature and am absolutely in love with it.  I’ve read the lengthy Jony Ive, New Yorker article at 650 words per minute as well as a few others and am hoping Jeff Bezos and the Kindle app team take some notes.  I wouldn’t give up my Kindle Paperwhite but, I would definitely use the Kindle app on my iPhone much more often.

The ability to speed read has saved me so much time.  I can understand it not being a part of the stand alone Kindle due to the e-ink display’s being unable to handle a refresh rate of 650 words per minute but, the Kindle apps that are used on iPhones, iPads and Android devices would be more than capable of replicating the speed reading Instapaper uses.

For those who use Instapaper I highly recommend the speed reading function.  Speed reading is a technique that has enabled me to not only enabled me to read more but, also retain more of what I’ve read.  Hopefully Amazon will see this function as highly desired and add it to their Kindle apps, until then I will be utilizing Instapaper for all my non-ebook reading.

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