2021-04-05 08:15

Instapaper vs Pocket — Which Read Later Service Is Better for Me

As much as I love Craft, in its current version, it is not suitable as a read later solution. I do keep a list of bookmarks within Craft’s, but the article’s content is not fetched and saved into Craft, something Notion is able to do. This list is kept for other purposes like helping me build my Numeric Citizen Introspection newsletter. I need a better reading solution.

Reading is something that requires the least distraction possible. Safari reader mode is great, I use it quite frequently to remove the noise from a webpage, but it is lacking the highlighting feature of Instapaper or Pocket. Using a shortcut to save a text highlight is possible but it is distracting. This is where an app like Instapaper or Pocket comes into play. But which one is the best? For me, it is Pocket1, here is a quick comparison of both solutions.

  • Pocket design is richer while Instapaper is minimalistic, which could be seen as an advantage. Yet, Pocket in that regards is still frictionless for reading.
  • Pocket updates are more frequent.
  • Pocket is more expansive than Instapaper.
  • IFTTT support is more extensive with Instapaper than it is with Pocket.
  • Instapaper allows quick notes to be created next to the highlighted text. It could prove to be useful. Think of it as meta-highlighting.
  • Instapaper seems stuck in the pass when it was created by Marco Arment.
  • Instapaper allows organization of bookmarks into folders, something I wish Pocket would support. I’m a bit compulsive on the organization front.
  • Pocket supports iOS widgets, not Instapaper.
  • Share sheet allows tagging with Pocket which makes me more efficient.
  • Page rendering seems better in Pocket.
  • On the Mac, Instapaper Safari extension doesn’t work. It keeps asking me to authenticate with the application, which I did. See next observation.
  • Both, Pocket and Instapaper, doesn’t support Sign in with Apple within the macOS application; only on the website. Because of this, the Instapaper is useless on the Mac while Pocket supports creating an password for the account which fix this issue.
  • Pocket offers a public profile page where article recommendations can be shared.
  • I have more confidence in Pocket’s future and sustainability than in Instapaper’s.
The following screenshots are page rendering example of the same article from both service.
Instapaper page rendering example
Pocket page rendering example

If Craft is ever updated to extract an article from a website, allows tagging and highlighting, I’ll probably reconsider my use of Pocket. For now, I’m a very happy user of Pocket, a service which helps me read more and better.

My Pocket profil.

  1. I used to be a Pocket user back in the days when the service was started, but somehow I stopped using it, maybe because of Apple’s introduction of the Read later feature in Safari.↩︎

Pocket Instapaper Services Reading

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