Are you frustrated with how long it takes you to read novels or articles? Or do you just want to improve your reading speed and memory? If so, Reading Trainer can help with a series of fun exercises.
Really puts your reading skills to the test
Reading Trainer won't exactly turn you into Johnny 5 from Short Circuit but it can offer some modest improvements in your reading skills although it claims to "double your reading speed in just a few days". Reading Trainer experiments by testing you with different types of writing styles, puzzles, and fonts to improve the way your brain adapts to different text types and styles.
The main areas that Reading Trainer focuses on are rapid recognition of numbers, letters and words, flexible eye movements and an improved ability to concentrate and increased vision span. It takes you through the various elements of the training program before you get started and gives you a star rating based on tests and highlights where your strengths and weaknesses are. The more stars you get, the more your reading and retention skills are improving.
The reading tasks range from simple word searches against the clock to matching pairs of words. The content itself is very random and comes from either Wikipedia articles or content that's openly available with a Creative Commons license. Some of it can be very dry and it would have made the app more appealing if the content was more engaging.
Although reading speed is the main focus, Reading Trainer is also suitable for anyone that just wants to improve their memory. Reading Trainer challenges you to remember text used in the tests and is more difficult than the reading test itself. You can view your scores over time via the Reading Power graphs which show your progress per test i.e. word pairs, letter jumbles, numbers, text search etc.
Requires regular use for noticeable effects
It's very hard to judge the effectiveness of such an app without using it regularly over a sustained period of time. Reading Trainer is not a magic pill and would require regular use before you noticed any increase in both reading speed and memory.
However, the tests are very structured and the combination of reading and memory tests really does give your brain a workout. Mentally exhausting it certainly is, but reading or memory enhancing is harder to say.
A simple tool to improve productivity
If you want to be more productive when handling a deluge of emails, or simply want to get to the end of that copy of War and Peace you never finished, Reading Trainer can help. Just don't expect miracles.