April 2014: Why let little things like words in a row or a table full of math-challenged dining companions slow you down? New app technology helps you read faster, divvy up the check faster and work on your Microsoft Office files using your iPad (finally). Productivity is King Frog, whether you’re at work, on your favorite lily pad or in that great Chinese restaurant down the road.
Here are nine apps that let you do what you usually do – only faster!
1) Read faster, one word at a time.
Who needs to move their eyes left to right when reading anymore? Not you! Get your sentences one word at a time with Rapid Serial Visual Presentation, or RSVP technology. The goal is to help you read faster by making it more comfortable, especially on small displays like mobile devices and wearable tech. New text-streaming technology from Spritz (test yourself on the demo!) lets developers include RSVP in apps they develop or update — so watch for your favorite apps to offer RSVP soon.
Meantime, just cut and paste text into Velocity or ReadQuick for iOS and Speed Reader or A Faster Reader for Android. Online, use Spreeder. It lets you highlight text then click the bookmarklet on your browser toolbar to initiate Spreeder’s RSVP. Some apps let you adjust settings other than speed, such as font size, colors and the number of words that appear at once.
2) Split the check in a snap — no math!
No more post-meal funk when it’s time to split the check – and no more getting stuck with more than your fair share! Plenty of apps help you do the math but you still have to type in amounts (so yesterday).
Now apps that use optical character recognition (OCR) technology let you snap a picture of the check and drag individual item amounts into the separate columns that automatically total up, tax and tip included. Divvy for iPhone ($0.99) and Clever Bill Splitter for Android (free) also do more complicated tasks like splitting items between some people and not others — whew.
3) Use Microsoft Office on your iPad
If you use Microsoft Office and an iPad, you’ve surely noticed that there’s NOT an app for that. Until now! It’s here! And it shot to the top of Apple’s App store in mere hours. Office 365 users can now download the free app so life on the road (and on the couch) means you can work in realtime with your work team, home team or whatever team from wherever you want. Not an Office 365 subscriber? Subscriptions start at $99/year.
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