Do you ever find yourself with dozens of browser tabs open and vague plans to read them at a later stage? These two apps, Pocket and Instapaper, can save all of your open web pages into a convenient read-later folder you can read offline. Here’s how to work ’em.
ON YOUR PHONE: With the Pocket mobile app installed, you can click the Share button on any web page and choose the Pocket app as the target. You don’t have to access the Pocket app directly to do this; it simply appears as a sharing option such as Facebook or WhatsApp.
ON YOUR PC: You can also add the Pocket browser extension on your PC’s web browser. Open the Extensions menu on your browser and search for the Pocket utility. This adds a little button to your bookmarks bar, which you can click to save a complete web page to your Pocket account.
To read pages you have saved, you can open the Pocket phone app or visit the website on your PC. All your stories appear here and can be further bundled together to compile a personalised magazine or newspaper for you.
One of the best tools in Pocket is the text-to-speech tool, which will read your saved articles back to you. Simply tap the headphones icon on any story and it will be converted to audio.
Unfortunately, Pocket’s content recommendations can be off-putting because of how advertisers target you through the app. Branded and sponsored content appears as story recommendations, along with other suggested content.
Much the same as when using Pocket, you can save links to Instapaper using the app or the browser extension, and there’s a third option to add a web URL manually – useful if someone sends you a link by email, for example.
ON YOUR PHONE: Using the mobile app, simply click the Share button on an article and select Instapaper.
ON YOUR PC: Locate and install the browser extension in your web browser and a Read Later icon will appear in your shortcuts bar. To save a web page, simply click the Instapaper icon to send it to your Instapaper archive. To manually add links, open your Instapaper account in your browser and select the Add Link option next to your username.
Your stories saved to Instapaper can be read in the app or in the web browser. The standout feature of Instapaper is its ability to convert your web into a simple text affair by stripping out all the extra graphics, adverts and other annoying distractions. Or you can choose to keep just the pictures from the actual story, useful when these are graphs or infographics referenced from the text.
By cutting out all the web-page junk, it saves you a lot of mobile data when you’re retrieving it, and makes the pages light and easy to use. Another big advantage of this is that you can adjust the text size, font style and colours according to your preferences. One disadvantage is that important pictures can sometimes be left behind.
Google Assistant, compiles news under its Discover tab, and now allows you to save links to folders called Collections.
Google News has a drop-down menu on stories labelled Save for later.
Evernote, a premium note-taking app, allows you to share complete articles to its notebooks.
Apple users can try out the Safari browser Reading List feature. To add a link to the list, hover your pointer over the Smart Search field and click on the add button that appears. In iOS, send links to this list using the share icon.