Readtime is an app designed to help readers get the most out of every minute of every day. The app plugs into caching services like Pocket and Readability to help users keep an eye on their spare time—so if you’re an article hoarder, pay attention.
With its simple user interface, instead of sorting through what could be hundreds of articles you’ve saved to Pocket, Readtime only asks you to set the time you have to spare—anywhere up to 30 minutes—and you’ll have an article that fits that length of time.
Click the center node to start reading and off you go. In the background, the app gauges the length of all of the articles you have stashed away and serves them to you depending on how much time you say you have. You can even have it focus on the shorter articles in your backlog for quicker reads.
The article’s length is determined by word count, which is accurate enough (although sometimes words from related links and tags can throw off the calculation). When you finish an article, you can archive it with a quick swipe to the left, and the next piece is queued up right behind it. The passage of time is counted with a gradually filling red circle in the lower right corner of your screen. When your time is up, instead of another article, the user will find themselves back at the app’s home screen.
The cool part is that the more you use Readtime, the better the app gets at predicting how quickly you will get through content. Your first few sessions with Readtime will be mostly spent getting the app used to how fast you can read. But the more you fall into the groove with the software, the easier it is to get through denser reading faster. Readtime will even pick up on your increased pace and you push you to become a faster reader.
The best real-world application for Readtime seems to be sneaking in some focused reading during a lunch break or before a meeting. Unfortunately, the unobtrusive timer in the bottom right corner of can be a bit easy to miss—especially since the app is lacking in the way of alarms or notifications. But as long as you’re paying attention, Readtime is an innovative new way to read—no matter how much time you’ve got on your hands.