New in iOS 5: Save and Read Webpages Later with Reader

By , Jun 9, 2011

In iOS 5, Apple has taken services like Instapaper and Read It Later head-on with a new feature called “Reader.” Like the similar feature that has existed in Safari on the Mac, Reader for iOS 5 will strip a webpage in Mobile Safari of unneeded images and ads for a more enjoyable reading experience.

Articles can also be saved for reading later on any iDevice that’s set up with your iCloud account. Bookmarking is a thing of the past.

When you tap the Reader icon in Mobile Safari’s address bar, web pages will be converted to look like this:

If you use Instapaper or Read It Later, you’ll see the striking resemblance. Will the other, third party solutions for this type of service become obsolete when consumers start using Reader in iOS 5?

The developer of Instapaper, Marco Arment, doesn’t think so,

“If Reading List gets widely adopted and millions of people start saving pages for later reading, a portion of those people will be interested in upgrading to a dedicated, deluxe app and service to serve their needs better. And they’ll quickly find Instapaper in the App Store.

So I’m tentatively optimistic. Our world changes quickly, especially on the cutting edge, and I really don’t know what’s going to happen. (Nobody does.) But the more potential scenarios I consider, the more likely it seems that Safari’s Reading List is either going to have no noticeable effect on Instapaper, or it will improve sales dramatically. Time will tell.”

I absolutely love Instapaper, and while Reader does look nice, it won’t be replacing my Instapaper habits at all. The main downfall to Reader is that it’s restricted to one browser. I work in multiple browsers, not just Safari, and Instapaper is useful for me because it goes with me across all of the browsers and platforms I use.

What about you? Does Reader look like a service you’ll use?

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  • toast

    is this site specific? or how do you activate this feature within iOS 5 beta 1?

    • http://www.iphonedownloadblog.com Sebastien

      You don’t have to activate anything. iOS 5 comes with it. The Reader feature is just amazing.

      • toast

        thank you for the quick reply. i saw it once while browsing but i have not seen it since. should it be available anywhere?

  • Justin

    Converting to a text version of the page seems kinda cool, but it doesn’t take me that long to just double tap on the part I want to read. So I’m not sure I see the big advantage of it and not sure if I can break my double tap habit long enough to get used to it.
    And I’ve never understood about reading a page later. If you don’t have time to read it now, just wait till later to load it. I can understand that might be more for flights, but I can’t think of enough pages to ‘preload’ before a flight to keep me busy. It’s not like I can read updates from iDB, later.

  • toast

    ok i see. when in the site of choice click on the bookmark tab then select the ‘Add to Reading List’ from this point on all articles will give you the option for ‘Reader’

  • c0edx

    Thank you Apple for this wonderful iOS. Apply toke out more then 10+ tweaks out of business from Cydia that we had to pay for. I’m finding new features everyday and it looks like they benefitted from Cydia. So I think the Jailbreak Cat and Mouse game will continue.

  • ColdGlueGun

    I feel like a tweak is bound to come to allow reader capabilities in other browsers, possibly utilizing ActionMenu or BrowserChanger technology. Or just allow for instapaper or other 3rd party apps to be integrated into the browsers.

  • Shaz

    wow awesome. the dev are gonna have their work cut out for them for ios 5 .. they need to come out with some original mods wow i love reading the news