554: Read-it-later Services


Great episode about a category of app I think about a lot.

I stick with Instapaper because of its 1) pagination (I HATE reading long-form scrolling text) and 2) the ability to sort by reading length. It’s great to easily pull up a 5 minute read, or a 45 minute reader, depending on how much time you have.

I really can’t stress how terrible, terrible, Pocket’s pagination is. It basically is a gesture that zips you forward by a screen in scrolling view. Terrible.

Instapaper annoyingly does not have a two-column / facing page view for articles on big ipads in landscape mode. Some newcomer apps like Articles+ do offer this.

Interesting hearing how highlighting and notes are so important to Sparky and Myke. Just like pagination is probably off their radar, I have never even thought about using a read-it-later service in that way, nor for “archiving” or anything like that.

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Depends on the “read it later”… If FB, then “save for later”. If something with rememberable visuals, then I might save to a pinterest board because I’ll remember it better. Otherwise, possibly Evernote. I used to use Instapaper but that only resulted in a back log of items I never read. :man_facepalming: :man_shrugging:

I just want to throw in Voice Dream here: https://apps.apple.com/dk/app/voice-dream-reader/id496177674?l=da

I use Reeder for iOS and Reeder’s inbuilt read-it-later.

But I have way more articles than I will ever get to read. So I use the sharing function from Reeder to Voice Dream to have the articles read aloud instead


I forgot about Reeder. Yes - I use that too. I have to be careful not to have too crazy a backlog.

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Enjoyable listen; thanks! For me, read-it-later peaked when Instapaper had just gotten really good at auto-publishing digests to Kindle and making easily printed digests. It felt like the right mix of digital and analog.

Since then I’ve mostly regressed to open tabs, Reading List, and Safari’s reminders of links from messages. The saving grace is my fairly good PDF management on iPad.

@MacSparky, what you described sounds less like “digesting” and more like “chewing your cud”. :smile:

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@MacSparky @ismh I may have misunderstood something as I was running while listening but I thought it was stated that Safari’s Reading List does not save offline automatically. That may be true but when I tried using the Reading List extension on iOS 14 I was prompted with the message below. Perhaps this is new to iOS 14 but I thought I’d bring this to everyone’s attention. I have not tried this yet on the Mac. If I misheard / misunderstood while I was running, I apologize.

Maybe they are not prompting users. Nice if that is how it works now.

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Umm. ?Thanks? for that visual?


@MacSparky or anyone, I don’t highlight non fiction Kindle books but I do copy ans paste the text and send it to my gmail account. So I have many hundreds of emails which all share a gmail label or tag so I can dig them out OK. I would like to automate extracting those emails similar to the way David has done with his Kindle highlights. I could see myself paying for Roam research, but not a series of subs just to get the data into Roam. Any pointers appreciated. Thanks.

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@lgude Smart!

I’m adding this to the feedback list. :slight_smile:

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Agreed that Instapaper looks better. But pocket handles video better. And for me i use IFTTT to automatically add YouTube videos to my pocket account. I don’t like actually checking YouTube and it consolidates another inbox for me. Sometimes reading the article in the Reeder app makes up for Pocket’s second place finish behind Instapaper’s all around reading design.

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I should probably give Pocket another go… What do you like about that service, other than what you have already mentioned regarding Youtube?

I forgot about Voice Dream. I will have to check it out again

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Can you share the service IFTTT I presume that you use to do that?

Has anyone used or considered using DEVONthink as a read-it-later service?

I’m already heavily into DEVONthink for both professional and personal projects. I used to use Instapaper years ago, but haven’t been using a read-it-later service in probably 5 years. I don’t feel like creating another “inbox” or another service/app unless really necessary, so I was idly pondering if it might work for me to just create a “Read-It-Later” database in DEVONthink.

Pros: Great search ability, easy to file things to where they ultimately belong.

Cons: ???

One of the cons is that DT can no longer capture Twitter feeds apparently due to some changes at Twitter but other RSS readers such as Newsreader still can.

Twitter seems to be the communication channel used by the majority of developers so I set up Twitter feeds from all the developers of all the apps that I use in Newsreader so I do not get sucked into the Twitter time vortex.

I think a reason why Apple doesn’t give us custom watch faces is the fact that it’s one of the only ways to make a more expensive watch stand out. They all look pretty much the same and even the band can be from a third party. So a watch face that nobody else has is almost the only way to show that you have the newest device or even the fancy Hermés one. Not that I would care about that, but I’m sure it’s important for a specific portion of customers that are willing to pay a lot of money to show off.