A number of stories on the page-reformatting/save-for-later-reading app front broke today. First of all, Arc90’s Readability, which earlier this year implemented a subscription model with Read It Later-like article-saving functionality for those who paid for it (and axed its old bookmarklet which worked better), has announced it is moving a few steps back toward a freer model with a free iOS app.
It turns out that only 2,000 to 10,000 people so far have thought the ability to save articles for later in Readability was worth paying $5 a month for (imagine that!), and Readability’s founders hope that allowing people some limited free article-saving functionality will convince them to pony up for more features later.
I’m a little doubtful, myself. Why would I want to pay $5 a month for a service when I could (and have) just pay $10 one time for similar functionality in Instapaper? (Which no longer offers a free version, as it happens, as developer Marco Ament found that bad reviews from people frustrated with the free app’s limitations harmed the app’s reputation.)
Meanwhile, Mark Armstrong, founder of long-article aggregator Longreads, is taking a position with later-reading application Read It Later. Armstrong will be editorial director for the app, collecting and curating content for the app’s users much as he has done with the Longreads twitter feed and website. He will continue to run Longreads in his spare time as well.
And finally, web-clipping app Evernote has released a Chrome extension called Clearly, which does essentially the same thing as Readability—renders a simplified version of a given article so that it can easily be printed or (naturally) clipped to Evernote. I’ve installed the extension myself, and find that it works faster than the new Readability. (And it gets bonus points for adopting a Luxo lamp as its logo.) It might just become my new go-to page reformatter.