Writers are hardcore readers…whether online or in books.
In fact, like a lot of professionals, the amount of time I spend online is ridiculous. All of it is for research–personal or professional.
And if I’ve learned anything about my time reading online is that I HATE clutter, wide margins and tiny font.
In addition, I also hate not having one location for all of my reading content.
What’s an online reader to do?
Readability is a web-based app that let’s you read comfortably.
Boy, is that an understatement.
In truth, Readability has made reading online fun again. No more distraction by ads or struggling over tiny font.
One clean layout that let’s you scale down text marvellously.
For example, with a click of a button this article…
Note: I chose to hide images so you could see straight text. Featured images usually appear in the Readability view.
Readability as Social Bookmarking
Another thing about reading online that I need: a place to store articles I want to read later.
Delicious was my default since 2005, but it’s not a seamless way to read. Like most people I want one location for all of my content.
Now, with the Readability Chrome extension I can save articles I want to read for later–whether online or a Kindle.
When I do get around to reading online I can use the toolbar on the left-hand side to control the font size and style, print the article, send it to a Kindle, archive, favorite, return to original article or share it on the social web:
It gets better.
Enter the Readability iPhone App
Before the Readability iPhone app, Readability was like an alcohol-free afternoon pool party. Interesting, but limited.
Clutter-free reading was fun. But I wanted clutter-free reading anywhere.
Funny thing is, I was using Readability for months before I slapped my forehead and said, “There HAS to be an app for this. Wouldn’t that be cool?”
I jumped onto the App Store and came up empty.
No app? Strange.
Then I learned it was going to be launched on March 1, 2012…months after its first round with Apple approval failed.
Fast forward to March 1…I download the app and start reading. Anywhere.
Now, whether I am barrelling down a highway in New Mexico or hanging out at a pool party, I can catch up on my reading with my iPhone:
I see my Reading list…
…and jump into an article:
Could life get any better?
Downsides to Readability
Nothing in life is perfect, and Readability is no exception. However, the imperfection is a fraction of the perfection…and really isn’t Readability’s fault.
See, I don’t like to read on my iPhone. Yes, it is convenient, but it’s also like reading one of those public announcement tracts. You know, the small booklets that warn you about STDs or the danger of smoking crack.
You strain to see the words. You fumble with the small size.
What’s that you say? Just buy an iPad or a Kindle, stupid? You forget. I am cheap.
But that may change soon. I wouldn’t mind dishing out a hundred dollars to see this on a Kindle.
And there is another downside: I don’t have enough time to read everything I save.
Readability, can you help?