July 10, 2012
Readability, my read-later app of choice, has just received a substantial update. The update improves its core functionality and enhances its capacity for quality content discovery. The new version of Readability promises faster syncing of bookmarked articles. Having taken the updated app for a spin, I can certainly vouch for its improved performance as far as syncing speed is concerned. However, it appears to have also synced some of my archived articles back into my reading list. Bummer. Anyway, I still love Readability, especially now that it has a time-to-read display and a double-tap page scrolling mechanism. For each article, the former indicates the number of minutes it might take you to read the article. The latter lets you easily scroll through an article with a simple double-tap, as demonstrated in the video below. If you can't see the video embedded above, please click here. The time-to-read display is particularly handy when applied to the app's new content discovery sections, Top Reads and Longform Picks. According to the app itself, Top Reads is a "selection of the most read articles on Readability in the past day," while Longform Picks is a "curated list of long and interesting reads from Longform." Note that Longform is also available as a native iPad app. I've mentioned that I use Readability mainly for reading long-form articles, such as op-eds and cultural critiques. Otherwise, I use Pocket. Readability's introduction of Top Reads and Longform Picks, both of which feature articles of the tl;dr variety, only reinforces my special use of the app. The new version of Readability also includes the ability to play YouTube and Vimeo videos in-app, whether they're embedded in articles or not. Additionally, it reflects the discontinuation of its controversial publisher payment program. Notwithstanding the aforementioned archive syncing glitch, I'm quite delighted with this update to my favorite app for reading later, which is available in the App Store for free. I imagine you are too, unless, of course, you favor the likewise free Pocket or the $3.99 Instapaper.
Pocket (Formerly Read It Later)