Readability, a service that lets you save and view articles on the web in a cleaner format for easier reading, has released a universal iOS app for the iPhone and iPad. The service offers both free and paid subscription options, with a portion of the revenue from paid subscriptions going to the publications and writers whose articles are viewed through the service.
Readability has created a video overview to describe its service:
Readability had initially submitted an app to Apple more than a year ago when the service available only through a paid subscription. At that time, Apple had reportedly rejected the app since it did not utilize the established in-app purchase system to share revenue with Apple. The Readability service was later changed a few months ago to offer a free subscription option. The Readability app now available in the App Store works with both free and the premium paid accounts though it’s not possible to set up a premium account through the app. However, the app does offer a method to make a contribution via in-app purchase.
Readability is a competitor to Marco Arment’s Instapaper. Instapaper and Readability offer essentially the same type of service though Readability shares some of its revenue with the writers and publishers whose articles are read by its users through its service.
I’m a long-time Instapaper user and am a fan of this type of service to read online articles. So far, I’ve found that Readability and Instapaper offer a similar reading experience – see below for screenshots from each iPhone app showing a Wirecutter article where Readability is on the left and Instapaper is on the right (it’s possible to change the font settings in both apps to suit your preferences). However, I think I’m going to give Readability a more through try-out now since I’m drawn to the company’s intent to pay writers and publishers.
Readability (left) and Instapaper (right)