Can’t Read Right Now? Use These Apps to Save for Later

Michele Warg
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Tight deadlines and narrow time constraints are the bane of busy professionals. This is felt even more keenly if you used to enjoy taking time to read books or other written documents. Fortunately, mobile apps can help keep you up to speed with what you need to read, and many of the best reading apps are available either for free or priced very low. Mobile apps are ideal for busy people who just don't have time during the day to take in and process everything they need to know—to say nothing of reading for pleasure.

It isn’t possible to discuss reading apps without starting on the biggest ones in use: the Kindle and the Nook. While the Kindle and Nook are each sold as standalone tablets, their basic interface is available to all tablet users as mobile apps. While this has no doubt cost some tablet sales, it has allowed the mobile apps to spread to iPhone and iPad users, as well as to people who invested in the proprietary hardware. These mobile apps are all geared toward reading ebooks and magazines and have few additional functions.

Not everything you have to read is a book. Sometimes, in your capacity as an administrative or clerical worker, you'll need to deal with spreadsheets. Sometimes, you'll have contracts to look at. Once in a while, you'll have an order list to jot down when it's your turn to go for lunch. For these everyday purposes, you're going to want something more interactive than a simple ebook reader. Documents to Go was an early attempt at making a large number of different document formats available to Apple tablet users. Microsoft has offered some of its Office programs as mobile apps, and Apple is industriously undercutting them with free downloads of its competing platform. Each of these is able to handle .pdf, .doc, and .php files, among others.

Mobile apps that offer text-to-speech as a feature are a blessing to busy people everywhere. Whether you're reading for fun, catching up on the latest research, or staying on top of new company policy while sitting in traffic, mobile apps such as Speak It! and Web Reader HD are just what you need to effectively multitask while your eyes are occupied elsewhere. Speak It! is even able to capture your voice memos and store them as audio files, which adds an additional layer of interactivity.

Whether you're at home, in the office, or commuting between the two, it's always a scramble to find time for reading. Even essential reading—the kind you need for work—is expected to be done in that extra hour of the day you wish you had. Mobile apps can help you plug the gap and, hopefully, relax a little in the process.


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