MacRumors reports on a new (currently inactive) feature discovered in Safari builds for the next version of OS X, “Lion”. Called “Reading List”, it seems to work hand in hand with the Readability-based “Safari Reader” reformatting feature—allowing people to save web articles for later reading.

Some blogs have been calling this feature an “Instapaper competitor”, but Instapaper creator Marco Ament has posted to his own blog that he doesn’t see it quite that way, at least in the current version. He suggests it’s still more of a competitor to Readability, since there’s no sign it’s going to have cross-platform mobile and sync capabilities.

Even if they do add it in the future, Ament believes, it might have the effect of drawing more people to use Instapaper as they find they like the convenience of reading articles in that format but want the additional features only Instapaper can offer.

In any case, it’s interesting to see the explosion of web article reformatting capabilities appearing all over the place. Instapaper, Readability, Zite, Safari Reader/Reading List—it’s funny that it took so long to evolve from ad-blocking to readability-enhancement as a way of dealing with obnoxious advertising and bad pate formatting, but now that it has it seems almost like a movement.


  1. allowing people to save web articles for later reading.

    Safari already allows you to do this. You do a “Save As” and use the format “Web archive”. (FireFox and other web browsers have similar features for off-line reading).

    So I’m assuming this is a very simplified description and it’s really adding special bookmarks for each saved web page. Not a huge leap in functionality.

    Personally, I would prefer if this feature saved web pages in ePub format and added ePub reading ability to Safari with iBook DRM support. But I’m probably just dreaming on that one…

  2. Actually this is a far more usable and handy function than the old ‘save as’. Using the save as function saved the files separately in user-chosen folders. To read them later the user has to locate that folder and re open the files. This new function enables the whole process to run within the browser, and also keeps track of the pages within the browser. Way better.

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