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Pocket or Instapaper?

09 May 2014

I do a lot of reading on the web spread across my laptop, phone and Kindle, so I’ve spent a lot of time with read-it-later apps like Pocket and Instapaper (Readability’s Android app hasn’t been updated in forever, and it looks truly awful). Both apps are fabulous in their own right, but I need to pick one, so I’m going to list out the pros and cons of each. Hopefully by the end of this post I’ll have figured out which one to keep.





I think I’m leaning towards Instapaper. The subscription thing isn’t a big problem, it comes down to just INR 60/month. The lack of justified text does bother me, though. I think I’ll write to the devs requesting that change. I’m also optimistic about the Highlights feature. The biggest pull for me, though, is the awesome Kindle integration - If I didn’t own a Kindle, I wouldn’t have considered Instapaper at all, in which case Pocket would’ve been a no-brainer. The Kindle is an awesome reading device, so having my articles delivered to the Kindle is such a joy!

Update 1 - There’s a service called Crofflr that automatically delivers unread articles from Pocket to your Kindle for a one-time fee of $5. At the time of writing, their server was ‘Over Quota’ which doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, but I’ll re-evaluate this once my Instapaper subscription expires in June.

Update 2 - After much back and forth, I’ve found a system that combines the strengths of both. I use the Pocket Chrome extension to save articles for later (it’s faster, supports tags and is available on Firefox too). I use an IFTTT recipe to push all Pocket articles to Instapaper, so I have an identical reading list on Instapaper. For my actual reading, I use Instapaper, for its web/Android app is (slightly) better than Pocket on most counts. (Search isn’t really a necessary feature, and my Pocket/Instapaper queue is archived on Evernote anyway.)