Top "Read It Later" Services For Saving and Reading Articles Later
There are countless interesting articles on the internet, and usually we don’t have the time to read as many as we would like. While most users use bookmarks, the "Read It Later" services offer a more flexible and elegant solution.
In this article we’ve gathered the best free services for storing articles and reading them later from any device.
- What’s the difference between “Read It Later” services from bookmarks?
Until a few years ago, browser bookmarks were stored locally on the computer. If you had two computers, each had its own separate bookmarks, and there was no way to automatically transfer them from one to another. Today, major browsers such as Chrome and Firefox allow automatic bookmark saving and syncing via the internet. So, if you use Chrome in your PC and smartphone, and you connect it with your Google account, you'll notice that the bookmarks will appear on both devices. The same goes for Firefox, if you have an account at Mozilla.
Then, since bookmarks can store addresses for articles that you’re interested in, and they are also synchronized with all connected devices in the same browser, why is there a need for a separate service for storing articles?
Well, it’s all a matter of organization. If your bookmarks are not well-organized, you are more likely to end up with a mess of bookmarks, which- let's be realistic- you will probably never read.
Using a free service for saving articles, you can keep in your browser only the most important bookmarks for pages that you visit frequently, increasing their usefulness sharply.
At the same time, services for storing articles, and their respective applications, provide a much friendlier and more pleasant format to read your articles. The applications provide a nice, clean interface, with options such as tags, easy search, favorites, archiving, offline reading, and other features, as you will read further below.
Finally, if you use a different browser in your smartphone or tablet than the one have in your computer, or if you have any alternative browser that does not support have automatic bookmarks synchronization, the services for storing articles is your only practical choice.
The most important criteria for selecting such a service is the ease of use (for example, one-click saving), extensions for your browser, as well as support for all your devices.
Pocket, which was formerly known as "Read It Later", is the most famous service for storing and managing online articles.
The service was initially available only via a browser, but now it has apps for Android, iOS, Mac OS X, Blackberry, Kindle Fire, etc. Moreover, it can be installed as an extension for the most famous browsers, and can be used by third-party applications in Windows Phone.
In June 2015, Pocket was added as a built-in feature in Firefox, and can be accessed from the toolbar. The developers’ move to add this feature was considered controversial, as people were worried about the direct embedding of a private service in an open source program.
However, a Mozilla spokesman said that this was an action aimed at increasing the popularity of the service among Firefox users, and stated that all code associated with the extensions was open source.
First of all, you must create an account for this service (or you can login with your Google or Firefox account).
As we mentioned above, Firefox already has Pocket included in its toolset, so all you have to do is login. Chrome users will have to install the respective extension first, though.
Then, after logging in with your account, you can click on the “Save to Pocket” icon from the toolbar to save the current article.
The same goes for Android users as well, who have to download and install the respective app and then, while browsing, tap on the “Share” icon and choose “Add to Pocket” to save the article.
When you save an article, you can add tags for easier searching and better organization.
If you can’t install extensions in an alternative browser, you can simply log into Pocket and use the Pocket Bookmarklet, a special bookmark. Then, just pull the +Pocket button in your bookmarks bar and click on it each time you want to save a single webpage.
Pocket also supports saving articles via email or via any of the 1500+ supported applications, such as Twitter, for example.
From Pocket’s web environment you can manage and read the saved articles, whenever you want. Also, you can share, archive, delete, add tags or store something in your favorites.
To read an article, the Pocket has a special reading view. Of course, if the article is not displayed correctly in this view, or you just want to view the original page, you can always switch to it. Additionally, if the page is not an article or a video, Pocket will immediately open the original page for you. Furthermore, it supports changing the font and the background color.
Pocket also has a Premium paid service, and its main difference lies in a feature that allows you to save articles even if they cease to exist from the original site, plus it has more search features.
Overall, Instapaper is a fine service for saving articles and reading them later, which has various options. Even though it is not as comprehensive and doesn’t support as many platforms as Pocket, its simple black and white format will probably attract many users who reminiscence newspapers.
In order to use the service, you must first create a free registration with your email. Similarly to Pocket, Instapaper allows you to save articles via Browser bookmarklets, Chrome extensions, e-mail, as well as via the If This Then That (IFTTT) service.
In addition, you can use a number of supported applications for iOS and Android devices in order to send pages directly to Instapaper.
To access and read saved content, you can either use the respective application, or visit Instapaper’s website. Then you will have the ability to archive, delete and add to favorites your saved articles.
An important feature in Instapaper is that you can highlight the text that you are interested in from an article and save it, or even to create comments.
Another nice feature is the automatic text display in front of your eyes, as a method for speed reading.
Instapaper also has its own Premium paid service, which included searching within the full text of saved articles, keeping unlimited notes, sending saved content to Kindle, and more.
Readability is another popular service for saving and reading articles. If you have tried one of the two previous services, then the use of Readability will not confuse you at all.
To create an account for the service, all you have to do is visit its website.
Although Readability doesn’t have as many features as the previous two services, its simplicity can win the preference of those who simply want to read.
Readability also has a Chrome extension, which has options for reading something now, later, or sending an article to Kindle.
This service also supports saving articles using Bookmarklets, email, or a series of supported applications such as Flipboard and Twitter.
Something you may have not noticed is that Facebook allows you to save articles, videos, etc. for future reading or viewing.
To do that, then while surfing on Facebook press the button with the arrow icon located on the upper right corner of a post, and from the menu that appears select "Save link".
The article will be stored in a list, which you will find on the left panel with the name “Saved”.
Facebook might not be giving us many options for saving articles, but it’s a simple and easy solution nevertheless.
If you have any questions, suggestions or thoughts, then don’t hesitate to let us know by posting in the comments section below!