Reading List vs. Instapaper

Back in May, Chris Bowler posted about his use of Reading List. His post actually inspired me to dump Instapaper and use only Apple’s Reading List feature instead. On the surface this seemed like a fantastic idea — I had full OS integration with reading things later (and I got to read them on the site itself, instead of in an app, which is my preference).

Since May I have been doing nothing but using Reading List and its given me a new found appreciation for Instapaper. You see, Reading List isn’t horrible, and it’s readily available, but it’s not great. There were numerous times when links would get lost, or inadvertently get marked as having already been read. There were even more times when I thought I saved something, but — well — nope, not saved.

I ran into many occasions when the current Reading List wasn’t up to date on my iOS devices, or my Mac. Other times when the link just didn’t get saved right. I couldn’t directly save links from Felix, or Sunstroke, or from the NextDraft and Digg apps. Those sources are where I get all my links from, and I had to jump through hoops to use Reading List with them.

A few days ago I about threw my iPad mini out the window because I realized that the 15 links I had just spent time adding to Reading List didn’t actually get added (I think that was an iOS 7 bug), instead of tossing the mini, I switched back to Instapaper.

Thank god for Instapaper.

I don’t know what the future of Instapaper holds — especially with iOS 7 on the horizon, but I do know a couple of things:

  1. I have even less faith in Pocket.
  2. Instapaper is far better than Reading List, even if nothing about Instapaper changes.

I wasn’t going to write anything about this — it all seemed inconsequential — but then I saved a ton of links from Safari to Instapaper in record time with all the confidence in the world that they were actually saved. I’ll half read half of those links today, and know that they don’t get marked as read until I mark them as such.

Yes, Instapaper’s website needs an update. Yes, we don’t know what Betaworks will do with it. Yes, it’ll need major work to look native on iOS 7. But, it’s still leaps and bounds more stable, and better functioning, than Reading List. Even more, Instapaper’s wide adoption with third-party apps makes it a useful service that you actually have to try not to use — I cannot say the same of Reading List, even though it has OS level integration.

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Article Details

Published
by Ben Brooks
2 minutes to read.


tl;dr

Back in May, Chris Bowler posted about his use of Reading List. His post actually inspired me to dump Instapaper and use only Apple’s Reading List feature instead. On the surface this seemed like a fantastic idea — I had full OS integration with reading things later (and I got to read them on the […]