If you already own an iPhone, you know it’s more than an iPod-with-a-phone; it’s an always-on mobile computing device. Since February, propeller heads the world over have been feverishly working to develop third party applications that help you unleash the iPhone’s mobile computing power by taking advantage of its features like the multi-touch interface, the accelerometer and GPS.

One application that caught our attention is 100% Canadian. It’s called Spreed, and it’s an application that increases the speed at which you read. Spreed is the brainchild of Anthony Novac and Patrick Keefe, and was brought to life by technical wizard Suhail Mirza.

The concept is based on the simple fact that your reading is slowed by the visual distractions around the words you’re reading, namely the other words on the page. So Spreed breaks up text into small chunks, and then serves those small chunks to you against a black background. No other text is visible to distract you. By focusing your eyes on only the text you’re reading, your reading speed improves dramatically.

And there are two more important benefits: as your reading speed increases, so does your comprehension (that’s focus at work again). And readers who comprehend more report that reading is more pleasurable for them. For this correspondent, Spreed increased reading speed from about 250 words per minute (about average for someone with a university education) to a highly efficient 600 wpm.

For a list of the best iPhone applications click here and here, or go to Apple’s Application store to see what’s on offer.

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