FutureFive NZ - App Review: Spritz

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App Review: Spritz

We all have so much to read these days. Newspapers, emails, text messages, online articles, this online article. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could read it all just that little bit faster?

Spritz, a new speed-reading app that debuted last month and will soon come loaded on new Samsung devices. It has been designed to enable faster reading on devices with smaller screens.

Our eyes have to move every couple tenths of a second (or something) while we are scanning a page. These eye movements take time, slowing down the rate at which we can read.

So, what if, instead of our eyes moving, the words move? Hold the phone.

Instead of showing you lines of text the way we're all accustomed to, Spritz shows you the words one at a time -- at rapid-fire speeds.

When using the Spritz app, words are presented one at a time and the most important part of each word is positioned in exactly the same place on the screen, or the Optimal Recognition Point, keeping your eyes in the same place, so your eyes aren’t moving from one word to the next. This essentially gives you only one shot at each word, but saves you time because you don't have to scan lines and lines of text.

The question is if people can retain the same amount of information using this method compared to when they have the freedom to linger or go back over words or sentences. When we read really fast — especially in complex or difficult material — our understanding of the text suffers.

I remember cramming before exams at uni, and trying to speed read an entire novel a couple hours before an exam. To this day I don’t know how I passed that one.

Comprehension of the text you’re reading will certainly depend on how much you already understand the topic of what the text is about. A reader who is an expert will make detailed and accurate predictions of what upcoming sentences and paragraphs will contain, allowing him or her to read quickly. Speed reading or using an app like Spritz would work perfectly in this situation.

However, if the reader does not already have a good understanding of what they are reading, their reading comprehension would suffer as they have to try and understand the topic that is being built in their minds while taking in each word.

Whether you can take in as much information as you do when reading the “old fashioned way”, I’m not sure. But when they say things like you can read Harry Potter in an hour, I’m definitely interested. At least for boring things like emails and presentations and boring articles that you have to read.

It would definitely come in handy for uni work or when you’re having to cram in a whole lot of information in a short amount of time. I think it would take away from the joy of reading a novel, but Spritz has taken the tech world by storm this month and for good reason.

Have a look for yourself with this preview: http://www.spritzinc.com/

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