Blinkist vs. Headway – What’s Better Value for Money?

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For centuries, books have been valued as sources of knowledge, essential in libraries, classrooms, and homes.

Nowadays, many book lovers find it hard to balance their love for reading with their busy lives. Sitting down to read for learning has become a rare luxury.

gif-reading-book

This is where book summary apps like Blinkist and Headway come in. They break down the main ideas of books into easy-to-digest summaries, allowing readers to understand complex material quickly and without spending hours.

While both Blinkist and Headway aim to make learning easier, they offer different approaches and features.

To help you make a better choice, I have put together an in-depth comparison of Headway vs Blinkist. This comparison will delve into the specifics of each app, examining their:

📚 Libraries,

📑 Summary quality,

📖 User interfaces, and

💸 Pricing structures.

By the end, I’m confident this analysis will help you decide which app offers the best value for your money.

What Are Blinkist and Headway? A Comprehensive Overview

Blinkit and Headway are both popular book summary services designed to help users quickly absorb key ideas from non-fiction books. Here’s the scoop:

Blinkist: Key Features and Benefits

Blinkist was started in 2012 in Berlin by four friends who wanted to fit reading into their busy lives. It breaks down the key ideas from non-fiction books into 15-minute summaries, available in both text and audio. 

They’re making it convenient for users to learn on the go, whether they’re commuting, exercising, or just taking a quick break

And Blinkist offers a subscription-based service accessible via mobile and web.

Blinkist is designed to help increase the knowledge of its users as well as those around them. 

There is a lot of emphasis on community-wide learning, with many opportunities within the app for readers to collaborate. 

One example of this is the feature of Spaces. 


These can be understood as mini book clubs, where readers can share book summaries, listen to audiobooks together, and discuss their readings with whoever is invited to the space.

Headway: Key Features and Benefits

Headway-homepage

Headway operates on a similar premise to Blinkist, providing 1,600+ summaries of non-fiction books to help users absorb key information quickly. 

Headway’s summaries also come in both text and audio formats. And like Blinkist, it’s available on various devices through a subscription.

Headway-features

However, Headway’s approach to their service is a little different from Blinkist. While Blinkist focuses on emphasizing the value of knowledge to its users, Headway is more interested in increasing its readers’ daily dose of learning. 

Launched in 2019, Headway turns book summaries into an interactive experience with achievements, challenges, and daily goals. 

How Do Blinkist and Headway Operate?

Blinkist 

Blinkist operates by condensing non-fiction books into brief summaries known as “blinks” that capture the core insights of a book in just about 15 minutes. 

Users can choose to either read these summaries or listen to them in audio format, making it convenient to learn on the go. 

To access Blinkist, users need to subscribe to the service, after which they can browse through a library of 6,500+ books across various categories, including business, personal development, psychology, and more.

Blinklist-features

The app is designed with simplicity in mind. After logging in, users can immediately start exploring different titles, which are organized into categories or can be searched using keywords. 

Each summary is structured to provide a coherent understanding quickly and is available for offline access once downloaded.

And they don’t just have summaries now; they’ve also collaborated with a team of podcasters to give users an additional feature called Shortcasts.  They deliver a range of original content, including podcasts and thought-provoking expert interviews on diverse subjects.

Blinkist also has an AI assistant to help you find the content you are looking for easily with some simple prompts.

Blinklist-ai

Guides are also helpful in this mission, combining relevant content to help readers reach a specific target. This can be things like being more proactive at work or establishing a more productive routine.

You also get a free blink everyday that lasts for 24 hours.

Headway

Headway, similar to Blinkist, provides condensed versions of non-fiction books but enhances the experience with gamification elements. It aims to make learning habitual with visual aids such as infographics that help reinforce the material.

When using Headway, users start by setting their learning goals, which the app uses to recommend relevant book summaries. 

Headway-gamification

You can earn rewards and set reminders to maintain a consistent learning schedule. 

Headway-rewards-reminders

Headway also allows for customization of learning experiences based on the user’s progress and preferences. By gamifying learning, they aim to encourage users to develop a regular habit of learning.

Platform Compatibility

Both Blinkist and Headway are designed to be widely accessible and are compatible with multiple platforms:

  • Android: Both apps are available on the Google Play Store, optimized for use on Android devices.
  • iOS: Users can download Blinkist and Headway from the Apple App Store, ensuring they work seamlessly on iPhones and iPads.
  • Web: Each service offers a web-based version, allowing users to access their accounts and consume content directly from a browser on any computer or mobile device. This makes it easy for users to switch between devices as needed.

What Is the Subscription Cost for Blinkist and Headway?

Now that we have compared Headway vs. Blinkist summary apps in terms of usability and features, it’s time to break down exactly how much each service costs. 

Blinkist Pricing

blinklist-pricing

Blinkist’s pricing is straightforward: 

  1. Annual Subscription: Priced at $35.96 per year, which translates to about $3.00  per month.
    • This option offers a significant discount of 50% if you opt for the yearly plan and get full access to all Blinkist content. So, paying for the annual plan means you will save almost $3 per month, which is half of what you would be paying for the monthly rate.
    • This plan has a 7-day free trial.
    • You also have the option to receive a free seven-day trial during which you can test out the app. If you are unsatisfied in any way, you can always cancel your membership before the 7 days are up, and no extra fee will be incurred.
  1. Monthly Subscription: Costs $5.98 per month. This plan does not include a free trial but offers full access to all features of Blinkist.

Blinkist also runs various promotional discounts throughout the year, particularly during events like Black Friday, where the premium membership is listed at 75% off of its original price and may offer corporate discounts or team plans aimed at business users seeking to provide educational resources to employees.

Headway Pricing

Headway’s pricing is slightly higher at $12.99 per month or $89.99 per year.

Headway-app-plans

Headway also provides a structured pricing plan:

  1. Monthly Subscription: Costs $12.99 per month, giving full access to all features.
  1. 3-Months Subscription: Offers a one-time payment option of $29.99 for three months to the Headway app, making the monthly cost to be $9.99$.
  1. Annual Subscription: Priced at $89.99 per year, reducing the monthly cost to about $7.49, making it a cost-effective option for long-term users.

Headway also offers a flash sale of 43% off after you have filled out the signup quiz, as well as a sale on Black Friday. They also offer a lifetime subscription on StackSocial at a one-time fee of $59 instead of $300 for a limited time. The downside of the deal on StackSocial is there’s no refund policy.

I bought the lifetime family subscription on StackSocial, which costs only $149 for 4 users.

Are Free Trials Available for Blinkist and Headway?

Blinkist Free Trial

Blinklist-free-trials

Blinkist offers a 7-day free trial available only with the annual subscription. This trial doesn’t allow users full access to the entire library of summaries.

And like already mentioned, Blinkist offers a daily Free Blink

Users must provide payment details to start the trial and read the summaries from the Premium section. But you can cancel at any time within 7 days with no charge.

Headway Free Trial

Headway does not provide a free trial for new users. But it is available with subscription plans—monthly, annual, or lifetime. 

There is, however, a free version you can download. A daily book summary and narratively presented daily insights are included. 

Unlike Blinkist, Headway requires users to enter payment details to begin. Headway just gives one summary a day, not their whole library. 

Blinkist offers limited summaries to allow potential customers to explore their offerings and decide if the service fits their needs before committing to a paid subscription.

Which App Offers Superior Book Summaries?

Blinkist: Known for its high-quality summaries, Blinkist ensures that each “blink”, or summary, captures the essence of the book effectively. Users often praise Blinkist for its clear, concise, and informative summaries that remain true to the original book’s intent and tone.

Headway: While also offering quality summaries, Headway focuses on making the content engaging and easy to digest. Headway incorporates visual aids and infographics within its summaries, which can enhance understanding and retention. However, some users find these summaries to be less detailed compared to Blinkist.

Variety of Content/ Library Collection

If you plan on using either of these apps as a means to gain knowledge, having access to a wide variety of content is very important. 

You want to make sure that you can use the app to browse through both your favorite books as well as new ones to ensure you are getting the most out of your membership.

Blinkist

Blinkist boasts a library of over 6,500 pieces of content, including fiction and non-fiction books, Shortcasts, Guides, and collections. 

Blinklist-library-collections

If you are a picky reader, Blinkist’s diverse book selection will ensure you always have a new book to read.

Headway

The number of books available in Headway’s library is nearly a fourth of what Blinkist offers, providing 1600+ pieces of content for its users. The selection for users with regards to other genres is also quite limited, with the majority of books offered being non-fiction. 

Headway-library-collections

The app focuses on providing summaries of the most popular and recent non-fiction titles, ensuring users have access to current trends and ideas.

However, it’s important to note that Headway features the most current and top-selling nonfiction books on its app, along with unique, lesser-known literature that is difficult to find anywhere else. 

Headway-features

This variety of books makes it more interesting for users just starting out in the non-fiction genre, as they’re not bombarded with information overload as soon as they open the app.

So, what’s the bottom line?

  • If you value high-quality, professional summaries and a large variety of content, Blinkist may be the better choice.
  • If you prefer interactive learning experiences with visual aids and enjoy gamification features that encourage regular usage, Headway might be more suitable.
  • Both Blinkist and Headway offer unique advantages, making them popular choices for users looking to maximize their learning in minimal time.

Are Blinkist’s Summaries More Comprehensive Than Headway?

When comparing Headway and Blinkist, the quality of their book summaries is definitely the most important thing to consider.

The main selling point of both these apps is the fact that they provide concise summaries of books readers do not want to spend hours reading. 

If the summary they’re receiving for a particular book from Blinkist or Headway is inaccurate or unengaging, then all other aspects related to the app won’t hold much weight.

Blinkist

Established in 2012, Blinkist has been around for about thirteen years now. They have had an ample amount of time to study their audience and make adjustments to their content quality as needed. 

These factors contribute to making the summaries on Blinkist exceptional. They provide both factual details as well as a creative edge, making them engaging for the reader. 

The writing style for each summary is also deliberately similar to the book it’s describing, helping you gain an essence of how an author intended their audience to feel while reading their writings.

All summaries at Blinkist also have audio versions, with every narration being done by actual humans and not AI. 

You can even connect your Kindle with it! Just send your Blinks to it and have a go.

Blinklist-integration-kindle

Headway

Unlike Blinkist, Headway is fairly new in the world of book summary apps, launched just four years ago in 2019. 

The app had to make up for its late start fairly quickly, which may have been the reason why their summaries are a bit more bland and factual in comparison to those provided by Blinkist. 

However, this difference is very minute, and overall, the app does a great job of summarizing content for its readers.

One aspect of Headway’s summaries that really gives it an edge over Blinkist is its use of visual imagery. 

Creative, eye-catching infographics are associated with most summaries, making the information easy to understand and remember- that too in a really fun way. 

In fact, Headway even won the International Novum Design Award for the brilliant illustrations featured in the app.

Like Blinkist, Headway also offers audio versions of all their summaries, though the voices are a bit more robotic as a result of the app’s early use of text-to-speech AI, which they’re now working on improving.

How Engaging and Accurate Are Headway’s Summaries?

Headway uses several methods to make book summaries engaging and easy to understand:

  • Visual Aids: Headway includes infographics and visuals in its summaries, making complex ideas easier to grasp and more memorable.
  • Gamification: The app adds elements like achievements and challenges to make learning fun and keep users coming back.
  • Simplification: Headway simplifies the content to fit it into short summaries. While this makes it easier to digest quickly, it can sometimes lose some depth or detail from the original books.
  • Applicability: Users find it easy to apply what they learn from the summaries in their daily lives, making the app practical for personal and professional development.

While there is some trade-off in depth for brevity, the overall user experience is positive, especially for those looking for an enjoyable way to learn new things quickly.

What Unique Features Set Blinkist and Headway Apart?

I’ll share a table to show you exactly what sets Blinkist and Headway apart, so you can easily compare what each app has to offer. 

FeatureBlinkistHeadway
Summary FormatBlinks: concise, clear summaries capturing book essences.Enhanced summaries with visual aids for better understanding.
Audio OptionsProfessionally narrated audio versions of all summaries.Audio summaries available, some using text-to-speech technology.
RecommendationsPersonalized book suggestions based on reading history.Custom learning paths tailored to the user’s goals and available time.
Daily FeaturesFree Daily Pick: a random book summary offered for free each day.A Blink a day!Gamification: achievements, streaks, and challenges to motivate users.
EngagementYou can bring everyone together to enjoy Blinkist recommendations in the Spaces.Community features allowing sharing of progress on social media.
Additional Features Offers original content like podcasts and expert interviews that delve deeper into various topics. Blinkist AI is helpful in recommending what might be best for you. Connect your Kindle with it. Features interactive quizzes to reinforce learning after summaries. 
Blinklist-Headway-Comparison

Which App Provides a Better Overall User Experience?

To figure out which app—Blinkist or Headway—gives you a better overall experience, we’ll look at their user interface, how easy they’re to use, their customer support, and the extra resources they offer. Let’s see how each one stacks up:

User Interface

Blinkist: 

It features a clean, minimalist interface that is user-friendly, making navigation straightforward. The design emphasizes clarity and ease of use, allowing users to find content quickly and efficiently.

Headway: 

The interface is vibrant and engaging, utilizing colorful graphics and visual aids that enhance user interaction. It’s visually appealing and designed to make the learning process enjoyable and visually stimulating.

Usability

Blinkist:

Initial Setup: 

When you first open the Blinkist app, it asks you to pick topics you like, like meditation or psychology, and any challenges you’re tackling. This way, it suggests books that match what you’re looking for.

The whole process feels very polished, with a deliberate emphasis on the details. You can navigate between a customized home page displaying the titles that Blinkist thinks would interest you the most, the explore page where you can browse through books from all categories, and finally, your own library, which features books you’ve saved for later.

Blinkist also offers its services in the form of a web app. You can use this to listen to the same book summaries you have saved on your mobile app from your laptop, with everything working together seamlessly.

Accessibility: 

Available on multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, and web, ensuring a consistent and accessible user experience.

For a more in-depth understanding of the usability of Blinkist, check out this video.

Headway:

Personalization: 

Like Blinkist, the Headway mobile app also begins by asking questions about the reader, though these include more personal inquiries like gender, age, and goals in life. It also asks you about how much time you can commit to learning each day, as well as what time in the day you feel most productive.

Questions tailored to understanding the habits of readers are sprinkled all throughout the app, making the experience much more memorable as well.

About the navigation of Headway, it’s nearly identical to that of Blinkist, albeit with a few more colors thrown into the design. The web app also features the same quiz at onboarding and offers many of the same features as the mobile app.

Engagement: 

Incorporates interactive elements like daily goals and progress tracking to engage users continuously.

Customer Support

Both Blinkist and Headway offer customer support with comprehensive FAQs, direct email support, and helpful online resources for troubleshooting.

What are the Pros and Cons of Using Blinkist vs Headway?

Before we go into the details, here’s a quick table that lays out the pros and cons of Blinkist and Headway:

FeatureBlinkistHeadway
Library SizeOver 6,500 titlesSmaller, focused collection
Content TypeNon-fiction onlyNon-fiction with visual and interactive aids
User InterfaceClean and straightforwardColorful and engaging
Audio SummariesProfessionally narratedAvailable, some use text-to-speech technology
Learning ToolsPersonalized recommendations, daily picksGamification, quizzes, personalized learning paths
PricingCost-effective for the features offeredMore monthly cost, slightly less expensive annually
Pros-Cons-of-Blinklist-Headway

Blinkist Pros:

  • Huge Library: Blinkist leads with over 6,500 books.
  • Quick Learning: Their summaries are sharp and to the point. 
  • Listen on the Go: High-quality audio means you can enjoy book summaries even during your commute.
  • Straightforward App: It’s easy to navigate, which means less time figuring things out and more time learning.
  • Value for Money: Great price for a massive library and premium features.

Blinkist Cons:

  • Focused on Non-Fiction: Focuses only on non-fiction and sometimes misses deeper insights.

Headway Pros:

  • Interactive Learning: Not just reading—Headway includes quizzes and infographics to really make the info stick.
  • Fun Features: Their gamification approach turns regular reading into a fun, daily habit.
  • Customized For You: It suggests what to read based on how much time you have and what you want to achieve.
  • Eye-Catching App: Its vibrant design keeps your learning sessions far from dull.

Headway Cons:

  • Smaller Selection: It doesn’t have as many titles as Blinkist, which might limit your options.
  • Newer Platform: Being newer, some features aren’t as smooth as those in more established apps. And some audio summaries use text-to-speech technology, which may feel less natural.
  • Might Be Too Much: The extra features are great but can be a bit much if you prefer straightforward reading.

Headway vs. Blinkist- Final Verdict

In conclusion, both Blinkist and Headway offer unique advantages depending on your learning style. 

Blinkist is great if you want to get straight to the point with a huge selection of books. Blinkist stands out with its straightforward delivery of content, making it a solid choice for those who want quick, direct access to a wide range of topics. 

It’s particularly great if you’re all about soaking up new knowledge efficiently and have a keen interest in non-fiction.

On the other hand, Headway is ideal if you like a bit more fun with your learning. Its use of quizzes and visuals makes the process more interactive, which can be great if you find these elements to help you remember things better.

While its library isn’t as extensive as Blinkist’s, it offers quality content that is both fun and informative. And it also comes with a bigger cost than Blinkist. 

So, the best choice really depends on what you’re looking for. If you value quantity and straightforward summaries, Blinkist has the edge. But if you prefer learning to be more engaging and visually appealing, then Headway might be right up your alley. 

Just go with the one that fits your style and helps you grow as a reader and learner!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Blinkist work without the Internet?

Yes, once you have added a book to your library, you can read it offline.

Can I read a full book on Headway?

No, Headway provides summaries, not full books.

Is Blinkist or Headway Better for Quick Learning?

Both are great for quick learning; Blinkist is straightforward, while Headway adds fun elements like quizzes and visuals.

How Often Do Blinkist and Headway Update Their Libraries?

Blinkist adds new books weekly. Headway updates regularly, though the frequency can vary.

Are There Any Good Alternatives to Blinkist and Headway?

Yes, alternatives include GetAbstract and Instaread, both offering book summaries for learning on the go.

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