Readability for iOS
Move Over Instapaper
Instapaper’s met its match. It did a while ago as a service, but now that the Readability iOS app is out, I can safely say that I’ll never use Instapaper again. I used Instapaper for a long time. I was a paid Pro user back when it was still $10. Instapaper lost me a while ago. After the major update that added that stupid browse bar, friends and changed the stars to hearts, I just hated looking at the iOS app. I tried out Readability since it was new and pretty and immediately loved it. It didn’t have social features tacked on, it had beautiful themes, and it had better Kindle integration than Instapaper ever had.
Readability is gorgeous. Unlike Instapaper, it actually has a nice icon! It’s a very non-standard iOS UI. It’s got five great themes with modern fonts and both daytime and nighttime reading modes. There’s a “Reading List” button at the top that accesses your unread items, favorites and archived items. Just the basics and that’s all I need. There’s also “・・・” button that gives you a few more things to do. You can search your articles, move and delete them in batches, add articles from URLs or start a Google search and lastly access the settings. There’s not a whole lot to do in the settings. You can choose a look and log into your Twitter and Facebook accounts for sharing purposes. I also love that there’s no “back” button while you’re reading an article. You just swipe to the right and you’re back at the “Reading List”. If you tap once on the screen, you get a menu at the bottom that lets you star, archive, delete, adjust style or share the article. And I’m so glad Readability uses ☆’s. I despise the ♡’s in Instapaper.
Readability is where Instapaper was, functionally, a few years ago. Readability is all about you. There aren’t any social features, you don’t have “friends” but you also don’t have folders or feeds you can subscribe to. I’m cool with this. Folders in Instapaper led me to hold onto articles I should’ve just archived, the “friends” I had in Instapaper either had the same things I had saved or had articles that I had no interest in reading. It’s my reading list, not yours. I’ve never enjoy reading the articles that people link to. I usually enjoy the stuff that I randomly come across through web searches more.
I feel good about using Readability. Sure, it’s a free app and a free service, but if you choose to become a contributor, 70% of your contribution goes to the sites that you’re reading (provided they integrate Readability into their site) and 30% goes to Readability to cover maintenance and employee salaries, I suppose. I paid $10 dollars for Instapaper and I’m sure no one beside Marco Arment (or Apple) ever saw a cent of that money. Sure I’ve given about $20 to Readability in four months, but the sites that are getting money from me are happy to get it, I’m sure. If you want to be a good Netizen, try using Readability. You’ll feel better about yourself for giving some money to the writer of that article you ripped the ads out of instead of helping Marco pay for his self-important coffee.