Developer: Blinks Labs GmbH
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 2.0.2
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

iPad Integration Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

SparkNotes and CliffNotes were popular in the 1990s for anyone taking a Literature class and just so happened to forget to read “Lord of the Flies,” “Huckleberry Finn,” or whatever was the assigned book for that exam coming up in a few days. Some people took to these summaries full time in lieu of actually learning the material or reading the assigned text. SparkNotes was even purchased by Barnes and Noble some time ago for a cool sum.

photo 3photo 1Since the 90s, just like JNCO Jeans and Mood Rings, these summaries of classic literature have fallen to the wayside. Whether teachers caught on or students stopped being lazy, these notes are harder to come by. But all is not lost in the 21st Century. Should one want to avoid the academic issues of getting caught plagiarizing something, or basing their essay off of a terrible movie adaptation, there is Blinkist. Blinkist, which was a hit in Germany where it comes from, is now in English – featuring a variety of summaries on non-fiction books about anything from Business to Politics, Science to Self Help, History to Horticulture. For a subscription fee, users can gain access to summaries on an even broader collection of these synopses.

But Blinkist isn’t made just for the frantic high school or college student. Unlike items such as SparkNotes, Blinkist‘s main concentration is on non-fiction books. Anything from well known writing, such as “Guns, Germs and Steel,” or Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” to a whole selection of books on other topics are carried by this app. They are also broken down by a general summary, and even a chapter by chapter breakdown of each of the books should they have them. Maneuvering through the various summaries is fairly easy as the menus in Blinkist are self-explanatory. Users can search by subject matter too, speeding up what could’ve been an endless search of reading a brief summary on “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” or some How to Get Rich Now book.

photo 2photo 2In order to gain access to the large library of summaries Blinkist has, there is a monthly subscription fee of $4.99. Depending on one’s usage – be they a student, entrepreneur, or just casual fan of non-fiction – this paid service may be worth it. The free model only gives people access to a limited number of these write ups.

If Skateboard shirts and snap bracelets are making a comeback some 20 years later, it seems Blinks Labs GmbH is trying to bring back educational fashion. Blinkist is an awesome utility that gives users summaries of lots of well known (or lesser known) non-fiction texts; helping them at least get an idea of what the subject is all about. So whether its time to kill between meetings or recovery from procrastination, Blinkist is a must have-app for non-fiction readers.

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