Read It Later apps have evolved a lot since its initial rudimentary growth days. The idea of saving articles or content for reading later is not something new. We have had bookmarking options for many years, but the way Read It Later kinda app operates is far different from normal bookmarking. Apps in this category strips cluttered navigation, sidebar, annoying pop ups, ads (you got the idea) to give readers a respite from cluttered web content. This feature was missing in normal bookmarking which just merely saves web address for later access. Later, invention of Ad blocker helped users to some extent but they were never match of Read Later app.
Within few years of original idea from Nate Weiner competitors of Read It Later like Instapaper and Readability popped up. Then Original Read It Later has now been rebranded as Pocket. However, we’re not here to discuss only about Pocket clients, instead we intend to cover all apps that come under ‘Read It Later’ category. At the end of the day, all we want is best apps for hassle free reading. Instead of following brand race, we will try to include best apps from same category. Personally, as a die-hard twitter users and follower of Rowi 2.0 twitter client (find more twitter apps from here), I often tend to save tweets through Readability and Instapaper. Some of the Instapaper clients ask for premium account which costs around $1 per month hence we prefer to skip them from this list.
From a design perspective most of the apps presents a minimal UI due to the nature of such service.
Read It Later for Windows Phone
InstaFetch is an instapaper client for Windows Phone with much needed offline support. InstaFetch has night mode, WiFi only mode, pinch to zoom option and landscape mode option helps for better reading experience. There is also a feature to save articles to Evernote (I couldn’t find the so called feature in free version). In addition, open links in Internet Explorer comes in very handy at times. There is also a provision to share article via Email, SMS but sharing via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn is absent. In short, InstaFetch is a decent Instapaper client available on Windows Phone.
Of course, you won’t be able to enjoy iOS app features like tilt scrolling which will scroll the page up and down as you tilt your Windows Phone.In fact, if you’re an iOS device owner using Instapaper then you will notice the less features on WP7 client (of course, InstaFetch is not an official client).
Read It At 7
Read It At 7 is visually appealing apps compared to other apps in the same category. It is a premier Read It Later app for Windows Phone. It emphasize on background syncing and offline support to serve the users better. As claimed by developer it is comparatively faster compared to InstaFetch.
Unlike, InstaFetch it does support quick navigation between pages, sharing to social networking sites like Facebook and twitter. Background syncing will sync articles in background. Even offline support helps users in case of Internet connection outage.
Read Better, as the name implies, supports Readability service. There was one more app available in the marketplace named ‘Readability’ which is not even worth looking as it is not an official client. Moreover, it offers no feature. On the other hand, Read Better is a decent Readability client developed by Monster Consultancy. Much to user’s dismay, the app is not even close to what other iOS has to offer. Even InstaFetch seems to be faring better compared to Read Better. Users can sync their Readability account and download articles for
offline viewing. Users can archive read articles or can add to favorites. However, lack of support to open URLs in IE browser is disappointing.
Unlike InstaFetch, there is no support for sharing contenst or links via SMS, Facebook, Twitter or Email. It also doesn’t support landscape mode, font customization or theme option.
Few other Read It Later style apps that we would like to give shout are Late Reader, MetroPaper and Read Later.
All the aforementioned apps are paid apps with free trial option enabled (only Late Reader is free). Windows Phone marketplace seriously lacks decent Read It Later apps. If you’ve come across any other noteworthy app then do let us know via form given below.