I stumbled upon the Readability iPhone app while browsing the iTunes App Store the other day, finding it in the front page section “Amazing on iPhone 5.” I quickly became frustrated initially upon opening the app, specifically with the lack of intuitiveness in trying to figure out how this minimalist designed webpage reader worked. A little daunted and discouraged, I continued on and after a few more minutes (and some web surfing), I determined that this app is actually pretty cool. First of all, this app is available on all sorts of platforms like: iPad, iPhone, Android, Reader for iOS & Mac, among others, and is compatible with other apps like Pulse News. One platform that is oddly left off the Readability websites “Apps & Add On’s” page is the Kindle platform.
This app will sync with the Kindle after some changes are made to your personal Kindle settings, which required me to go to the web version of Kindle taking around 10 minutes or more to figure out. Finally, I got an archived page to sync to my Kindle (iPad app), but this was only accomplished by syncing from the readability.com webpage. This FREE News iOS Universal app is a great companion for the iPad, iPhone, or Android for offline webpage reading. The iPhone app worked reall well once I figured a few things out. The 2 provided curated reading categories Top Picks and Longform Picks did not provide articles I was particularly interested in, but the in app browser works well keeping you in the app allowing you to view links as well as watch attached videos (connectivity required). I am a big fan of in app browsing and this app even keeps you put inside this app when you tap to read the web version of any article. I synced this app with Pulse News and imported my Readability saved articles as a feed in that application, which is currently not supported in the web version of Pulse news. This app’s best feature is the ability to turn any webpage article into a 1 column easy to read page and there are numerous settings for font, size, light as well.
While this app works for both online and offline reading, there are some obvious limitations for offline reading, like links won’t work, but you can work around this by saving article links to the “Read Later” tab before hand if you’re expecting to be without connectivity and want something to read. The Readability user interface is quite nice with a big red chair to take you into the guts of the app, easy swipe to read, good browser, settings to change font and lighting, and syncing with a whole variety of platforms as already highlighted. Readability’s motto/mission statement from their website is “Today, our goal is simple: to deliver a great reading experience on every platform and provide an avenue for connecting readers and publishers on the Web.” This app is pretty good, and the only complaints are the limitation of curated articles, lack of syncing to the Kindle platform from the app, and the lack of easy to find instructions to explain how to use this simple eye please reader app. The integration of a web browser menu bar “save icon” that looks like a big red chair (just like the app icon) makes it easy for those on the go to easily save items while surfing the web at home, work, or wherever to an iPhone or iPad for later reading. I suggest once you enter this app for the first time that you head to settings (tap the red chair in the upper left), look for “About” — enter and take the Tour. This will provide you all the tips you need to get your iPhone Readability app up and running. You will need to head to the website to get the full use of this app, but to me it is worth the time once your setup and reading.
Readability iPhone App Download Link