Readability’s latest attempt to stay relevant hits the iPad and iPhone on March 1. That’s when a free Readability iOS app launches. As with its predecessors Instapaper and Read-It-Later, the app promises to allow users to tag articles they would like to reformat in a web browser, then sync them to the iOS app and read them with a nice, simple interface.
There is a one-minute trailer for the app up on Readability’s iOS app page, and it looks reasonably nifty in terms of simplicity of interface, adjustability of font and so on, and I’m sure some people will use it. I can’t see myself using it, though—I hardly even use Instapaper anymore. I just don’t read that way.
Most articles I read, I’ll read on my computer. If I’m reading articles on my iPod Touch or iPad, I’m probably using Reeder, which has a Readability mode of its own for reading the longer articles. I’m not likely to sync an article from my computer to my iPod Touch or iPad. If I want to read it, I’ll read it right then. I just never got in the habit.
And I don’t even use Readability anymore on my computer. Since they changed the way their applet works, it’s just too annoying. Evernote Clearly is my new readability-reformatting main squeeze.
Isn’t it crazy that we’ve gotten to be so awful at formatting websites for ease of reading that there’s a whole raft of competing applications and applets springing up to unclutter them?
(Found via Adam Tinworth at One Man & His Blog.)
Tastes differ. I love the Instapaper app on my iPhone, particularly the ability to read away from WiFi, to store what I’ve read in a archive, and (more recently) to save quotes to Tumblr page. I didn’t get a Kindle Fire, in large part, because I didn’t think there’d ever be a full-featured Instapaper app for it.
How do I use it? Sometimes I come across a long article I’m too tired or too busy to read at the time. Instapaper is like the old VCRs. It lets me time-shift my reading to a better time. And from time to time I find myself in situations where my iPhone is my only entertainment. It’s then that I catch up on all those Instapaper articles I’ve been stockpiling. The latest iOS version even works with the Read Aloud feature in iOS 5.0, allowing me to have articles read out to me when reading isn’t possible.
From what I have seen, Instapaper and Readability have been almost identical in what they provide except for the lack of a Readability app for iOS. This app should remedy that difference. And perhaps the competition will give us the ability to highlight passages.