Instapaper V Pocket v2

After more than 6 months of trying both products side-by-side for my article reading needs/wants. Here are a few of my main take-aways:

  • Reading things on my Kindle isn’t the end-all-be-all
  • Being able to sign-in or link accounts to a platform is nearly more important than stripping ads for me now
  • Curated articles are almost always things I don’t care about from either platform
  • The current Pocket eco-system is something I find easier
    • Mainly because I’m been using it more
    • From the pocket home page, I’m easily able to edit my list
    • I can easily send things to other pocket users from within the app
    • Once I log in via my browser of choice to my various platforms I’m good to go I don’t have to resign in
      • Instapaper seems to have fixed this but I do have to usually log-in on a weekly basis. Where in Pocket its based on my personal browser settings so if I haven’t cleared cookies I’m logged in.
    • Sponsored content within Pocket is clearly marked.
  • Deleting items from my Pocket list is easier and can be done en masse
    • On the website in Instapaper (unless I’m missing something) its a one-by-one process. I tend to save 5-15 articles per day while I’m working. Someone sends me something or I browse for a few minutes during my break and I save it for later after work. Then after work, I’ll see what I’ve got and if I really want to read it. I’m probably getting rid of half of the stuff I saved from earlier.
  • Send to Kindle is a hassle regardless of the platform
    • Now with Instapaper its a premium feature so I’m not interested right there
    • To do it via pocket there are a few workarounds but also not easy and sometimes the articles are formatted in a really wonky fashion. Kindle needs to solve this on their end if its going to be a truly viable option. Till then I’ll read my articles in night-mode on my phone or tablet and just use the Kindle for books.
  • The sources that I’m going to have improved their in-app reading experience to the point where I’m using Pocket/Instapaper a lot less
    • I use the Athletic, NYTs, and WaPo for most of the things I read. All three of these have acceptable reading interfaces now.
    • The Athletic’s app is how it should be everywhere.
    • NYT is pretty good
    • WaPo has made leaps in the past 12-months but still is slightly below average UI experience via the App

Currently I think I am going to step away from Instapaper. If they bring back the premium for free I’ll look at it again. For now Pocket has won my read-it-later business.

Instapaper V Pocket

Can’t remember when I ran these two head to head last.

Pocket won at that point in time because it was just easier cross-platform.  I just heard via Reddit that Instapaper opened up all of their premium features for free.  I’m going back in for a try.

Initially, I went to pocket because it stripped ads out.  Then it was a great way to save stuff on my older smartphone when I wasn’t on wifi to be able to read. The added features within browsers of just being able to easily right click and save is what had me hooked.

I remember trying Instapaper and being annoyed that I couldn’t use all of the features across multiple platforms without a subscription.

At the time of my first head-to-head, I had hundreds if not thousands of articles saved in pocket.  Thinking I’d read them or use them to spur creative thoughts.  It was to a point where I couldn’t even do anything I had so much content saved.  At the time I also remember the trial was related to a subscription to a paper, possibly the New York Times but I can’t remember which one.

The main new feature that I’m trying out is sending articles to my Kindle.  I know this should be an easy thing to do.  It has never worked for me before so I’m stoked to put some stuff on there easily.  The latest BP articles by Aaron Gleeman or just something on WaPo.  Just so its easy and I can read it in bed at night without using my phone because I’m trying to put that thing to bed when I go to the bedroom.

What I’ve done so far:

  • Export my current Pocket list to Instapaper
  • Send half a dozen articles from different sites to my kindle to see how it works/formats the different sites articles
    • ESPN
    • NYT
    • WaPo
    • 9to5Mac
    • The Ringer
    • The Cut
  • Reinstall the iOS app
  • Reinstall the Chrome/Firefox apps
  • Use the speed read feature
    • Not a fan so far but I get the idea it forces you to focus
  • I like the estimated read times

I’ll give it a week and see what I think and then post my updates.