Web Clipping & Article Reading

Which service should i choose? Ok so I’ve seen this question for a while and just recently my buddy @peterwooley was wondering which is best. So I thought I’d write a good long post to share with the world what is best the solution. The only 2 choices people seem to know are “Read it Later” and “Instapaper.” There are others but I won’t discuss any of them except “Evernote” (yep it clips webpages too); not ’cause they’re bad or not good, but because no one seems to care about the others and aren’t as user oriented for ease of use like these. So lets just dive on into a complete talk of these 3 guys.

**Note I have used each of these applications on my devices, but I have never owned iPhone and never will so the talks of iPhone use will be from what I know from others.

Read it Later:

First is Read it Later, probably the best known web clipping system around. Read it Later just knows web clipping and article saving. It has literally one of the easiest user interfaces I’ve seen in a On mobile The free account is great, but for those that want you can upgrade for $2.99 to pro apps and get more features; Android iOSA big turn off though is the in their app, without buying the Pro app on iOS/Android you can only view a limited number of your saved articles and no tagging/sorting ability of articles. Read it Later has a good ability to change font settings while reading your articles and is good, but could be better. RiL is only offered online via a browser & bookmarklet combo or through mobile app (Droid/iOS). There are 3rd party developers that have used their API to create apps for other devices, but aren’t supported by RiL. Using bookmarklets in your browsers on mobile or internet to save page articles is good, but being only able to view online (unless you have iOS/Android) and no desktop functionality is limiting.

Screen Shots: 




Read it Later


    •  Pros:



       Free, Great UI, Multi browser capatable, Quick, Night mode on mobile, manual add, dynamic font changing

    • Cons:



       Only supported in browser & app only for iOS or Android, No desktop software, limited free app on smartphones

    Instapaper:

    Most commonly used with iOS platform since it’s focused to the apple user like Instagram. No offense but the person(s) that create this, but anyone who for 1 only codes toward a specific platform (like iOS) and neglects the others (Windows, UNIX, Android) is just no use. Instaper is a Totally Free,

     (there is $1/mo plan that is basically just to support the developer(s)) application. Though if you want their iOS app then it’ll cost you $4.99. So instapaper is the simplest application ever, you create an account, login in and use. The way it works on desktop iOS is bookmarlet within browser (no installing), and on mobile you just share page with app. To read you use the website or the app. To be honest IMO the 2 best things of this choice is the ease of use of the API and the great dynamic font changing ability; you can change font size, spacing, length, and even the font family but is doesn’t have a night mode for reading (at least on the web side). Using bookmarklets in your browsers on mobile or internet to save page articles is good, but being only able to view online (unless you have iOS/Android) and no desktop functionality is limiting.

    Screen Shots:




    Instapaper


      • Pros:



         Kindle Support, iOS perfected, useful 3rd party apps, great dynamic font changing, manual adding

      •  Cons:



         Have to buy iOS app, Only offered via 3rd Party for other devices, Low budget, not intended for anything but iOS, no night mode (online at least), have to buy the app.

      Evernote:

      The dog that people didn’t know was in the race. Yes Evernote can clip webpages, organize them along with saving any note you want; from pictures or ringtones to full recipes and even help jot down a quick blog post from your mobile device or tablet (in fact I’m writhing this entire post on the Evernote Desktop & Android Apps, I did have to make a couple blog friendly adjustments). Evernote is  free for basic account, but you can go Premium for $5/mo or $45/yr and let me say this what you get for upgrading is worth every penny! I my self haven’t ever upgraded my Evernote account from basic status (I want to, but just haven’t) it’s extra money I can save toward school books.

      On top of what it already can do, It can now clip pages and save them in reader format (using a plug-in) also Evernote can now, on the fly convert pages to article reading format that includes a nght mode (using a plug-inNOTE:

       This plugin is for Chrome & FireFox only



      ) . This is just the start with Evernote, it does Oh so much more.  I’ll be sure to make a nice long post about what some of the best practical uses with Evernote are and just more info about it (tonight or tomorrow, depends on what the night holds).

      So to discuss it’s web clipping ability only (seeing as that’s what we’re comparing), using the newest “Clearly” plug-in with Chrome/Firefox makes Evernote on desktop brilliant, almost the perfection of Internet news/article reading. The newest extension pairs clipping ability with live transition from article to reading within the browser and not opening any new tabs or anything. Not only does it transition over to article reading with ease, it includes a night mode, 3 font sizes, and it also has the ability to save the article you’re reading right there to Evernote seamlessly. Evernote has made reading and saving notes perfect and now they are in the process of perfecting web clipping. The only problems they have in the web clipping/article reading departments is #1 No Night Mode within your Evernote account after saving an article on any of their apps; #2 No 1st Party Mobile App for Web Clipping (Only Bookmarklets). Evernote is cross browser compatable (IE, Chrome, Safari, FireFox), Evernote works on all operating systems, and also is made for every smart phone (WebOS, iOS, Droid, Win7, BlackBerry).

      Now one big difference between Evernote and the other 2 is mobile clipping of pages is a bit different. On iOS it’s as easy as just adding a bookmarklet into Safari (really easy to do and several pages of Google search results to tell you how). On android it’s unfortunately a bit different (bookmarklets don’t work on the default browser, or after market browsers but there are several bookmarklet apps that work perfect on android, though not on MIUI atm). Also in android my fav way is an app called “Everpaper,” it’s an app that uses the instapaper API to clip the page then has a “send to Evernote” button (as long as you fill out the “optional” info for Evernote sending). There’s another method of using Read it Later style app to do the same; now I know it’s a bit messed up to piggy back off the competition, but they are in the process of getting a better mobile clipping method setup (the bookmarklet apps are best ATM, unless you’re like me on an unsupported ROM).

      Screen Shots:




      Evernote


        •  Pros:



           Free, High Data Cap, does more, Multi platform/browser/phone capable, Great & Helpful Devs, Amazing Support Forums, organization ability is the best around

        • Cons:



           No night mode within apps after save, Mobile Clipping is only third-party available, manual adding webclip = copy/paste

        Just A Test:

        So I decided that I needed one last trial to perhaps show the differences between these 3 guys. I decided I’d clip an article from the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/congress-leaves-town-with-an-uneasy-stalemate-and-looming-payroll-tax-hike/2011/12/20/gIQAhDL47O_story.html). So I started with Evernote Clipper (worked almost perfect) {IMG}, next I used Clearly (100% perfect view and clip save) {IMG}. Next I wanted to try and use Instapaper, but the bookmarklet failed on me so I tried to manually add and this is what I got {IMG}. I next tried Read it Later, of course it’s bookmarklet failed on me too (it happens) and so I went to manually add it up as well and this is the result {IMG}(yes a blank black page). I restarted my browser and tried using the bookmarklets again for Instapaper IMG and Read it Later IMG and both did great with the article. It just sort of amazes me that the manual adding (which I did try twice with the same outcome) didn’t realy work, but when I got the bookmarklet to work it did just fine Instapaper try #2 {IMG}  & Read it Later try #2 {IMG}.

        Summary:

        Each one is completely free to use and 2 of them are upgradeable to pro/premium that increases what you can do with them. All of them for web clipping rely heavily on bookmarklets (Instapaper & Read it Later on iOS/Android you don’t need bookmarklet of course). They each have flaws, but the least flawed is of course Evernote, below is my breakdown of best client per medium used (Based on usage for web clipping).

          • Desktop:





             Evernote takes the cake in my opinion for desktop use on all platforms & Browsers.

          • Android:



             



            Read it Later is better in terms of a web clipper/article reader if you don’t mind no sorting ability and having a limit on how many articles you can see.

          • iOS:



             If you don’t mind shoveling out $4.99 Instapaper wins in web clipping/Article Reading for iOS, it’s just made for it. (Though Evernote is the best free version)

          • Other Mobile Devices:





             (including Win phones and Blackberry) Evernote wins here, the others don’t support them except through 3rd party & browser only.

          So with that summary and the winners listed I have to say though; if you want a the best article reader on your device and that’s all you want take my suggestion, but if you want the ability to do more than just read an article and want the best most extensive free choice of the 3, go with Evernote and you won’t regret it. Evernote is an amazing app that is only getting better with each update and with the help of others that use the API like “Echo Smartpen” for hand written notes or “Study Blue” for studying for school the Trunk just keeps growing.

          About Hakarune

          Trying live life on my terms now I love to travel and have been to a lot of the US, and want to see the whole world and learn every language I can.... I love humor and sarcasm and use them both all the time, to the point where some people hate me for it, but as they say "Like Father Like Son." My dad is awesome and I love him, I missed not having him around when I was growing up, but now I'm making up for lost time. My dad is like my best friend and is like me, just older and not as hansom. Though I've been called worse than him cause I don't filter what I say (at all) and I'm blunt, honest, and speak exactly what I think as well as am a sarcastic ass to the point of occasionally offending people without meaning to, but that's life. Live it and get over it, and make the best of what time you got, don't sweat the small things. View all posts by Hakarune

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