Instapa­per vs Clear­ly vs Read­abil­i­ty: Comparison and Review

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Guide: Instapa­per vs Clear­ly vs Read­abil­i­ty: Comparison and Review

I’m sure you have that one website you love to read, but the distraction on the site basically makes it impossible to do this. There are ads everywhere and unnecessary ‘viral’ content is always vying for your attention. You can of course use an ad blocker, but that still won’t solve the formatting problem.

I’m sure you know reading later apps like Pocket and Instapaper. They save the webpage in its entirety, but they remove the formatting and unnecessary content, leaving only the nice text and some images, the most important.

That’s why Medium is one of my favorite sites. The content is a joy to read and is ad-free as of now (as is our new Ulimate guides and eBooks section). You can also apply this to your favorite web browser. There are extensions and bookmarklets available for Safari, Chrome and Firefox that provide the same reading experience, only in your browser tab.

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For comparison, at the top you can see what a gadget site looks like natively, and at the bottom after I enable Instapaper’s reading mode using the bookmarklet. As you can see, the bottom format is much less distracting.

Today we will talk about different reading modes and focus on their strengths and weaknesses.

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Instapaper: The Pretty One

Instapaper is my favorite app to read later. The iOS app is excellent and I can send a catalog of my saved articles directly to my Kindle. However, the bookmarklet in reading mode is not like that feature rich. It’s just a bookmarklet you click to enable. It is not integrated with the extension and does not support keyboard shortcuts (although I have a workaround for that).

Instapaper

But boy is it looking good. The text looks great, especially on my Retina MacBook. There are many font options to choose from. The default Lyon is a good serif font, but you can switch to Helvetica or Georgia if you prefer. If you read at night, you can also change the background to something dark.

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Readability: the robust

Readability is the underdog of the read-later service. Like Pocket and Instapaper, it can save articles for later, but in addition, it has a ‘Read Now’ feature in the extension. A separate bookmarklet is also available.

Readability

I like the Readability extension because it supports assignable shortcut keys. So you can press the ~ (Tilda) key to read an article there.

Readability also allows you to change the font and switch to dark mode.

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Clearly, function meets form

If you’re an avid Evernote user, you’ll like Clearly. It supports keyboard shortcuts and you can highlight text and send articles directly to Evernote. There is also a tagging feature

Clearly

When it comes to display options, obviously you are in fact going crazy. You can create a template in which you can specify everything from header font, article font, link color, font height, and line height. It’s really fun to play with.

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Bonus: Safari Reader Mode

Safari Reader

Safari for Mac and iOS has a built-in reading mode, and for something basic, it’s not bad. But you don’t get options. No dark mode, no font adjustment, nothing.

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Which one is for you?

If you’re already using Instapaper as a read-later service and don’t mind using a bookmarklet, go for Instapaper Text.

If you want a little more, including keyboard shortcuts, readability isn’t bad. Although I found it a bit slow when loading.

I think clearly the Transparent winner when it comes to pure functionality. You can highlight text that is automatically displayed up in Evernote, along with relevant titles and tags, and you can go nuts and tweak the reader’s view only as you like it. Not to mention, was also clearly the fastest to load articles during my tests.

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Do you often use reading mode?

Do you like to have long articles on you laptop with reading mode or do you just read them on your tablet or Kindle? Which websites force you to use reading mode? Let us know in the comments below.

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Instapa­per vs Clear­ly vs Read­abil­i­ty: Comparison and Review: benefits

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The time to complete the Instapa­per vs Clear­ly vs Read­abil­i­ty: Comparison and Review tutorial is 10+ minutes.

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