The Longest Product Review in iOS History

Or so it seems. Honestly, I don’t have any insight into the iOS product review process in general and in particular with respect to the Readability app. So I don’t really have proof that this was actually the longest review but it is hard to believe that it takes an equal amount of time for a lot of other apps as well.

Let’s recall: the first announcement was done in November 2011 and the gist of it was that the successful passing of the review process was expected to happen soon after the initial announcement.

And then time went by.

And more time went by.

Until last week, when the team at Readability started tweeting about the availability of the Readability app in the iOS App Store. Starting today the app is finally available from the App Store.

I heavily use the service provided by Readbility for some time now and my main use case is to read articles on my Mac. I simply enjoy the way how Readability renders articles. This feature was the primary reason that made me become interested in Readability in the first place.

In other words, I started1 using Readability by just converting articles that I started to read into the rendering by Readbility. Of course, this may easily end in many open tabs in the browser because of the never-ending supply of interesting stuff to read.

Solution: use the reading list. For this purpose browser extensions can be used to add articles to the list and also third-party applications like Reeder.app come with a tight integration with Readability and it is possible to send content from there to Readability.

I don’t use to ride the bus or train as part of my daily commute and therefore I’m usually not very much in pain on a daily basis about being able to use the same level of quality on an iOS device. And yet, there are plenty of opportunities where the ability to read nicely rendered articles comes in very handy.

And that’s why I’m quite happy that the Readability app is now finally available. Needless to say that I downloaded it on the first day of availability.

Let me put this straight: it was worth the wait. The premium experience of reading articles on Readability is now equally available on iOS as well. During the time the app was announced but failed to become available I submitted into using the iOS Reeder.app for reading my articles.

After all, Reeder.app renders the content nicely, no doubt about it. However, the Readability app is so much better in nicely rendering articles.

Yes, I know. There’s Instapaper. It used to be the canonical solution to the problem of offline-reading of web articles. I have used it for some time but - as mentioned before - I do the major part of my reading on the Mac and that’s admittedly not the bright side of Instapaper2.

But even the iOS app - despite doing pretty well - does not reach the quality of rendering provided by Readability.

The bottom-line of this is that for me the killer feature of a “read later” service is the sheer presentation of content. That’s what the team of Readability apparently has in its DNA and that’s where it will be really hard to beat.

Yes, it is probably a lot geekier to openly support a one-person start-up from upstate New York3 and keep using Instapaper despite better alternatives. But personally, I’d rather be uncool and get the best reading experience available.

  1. That was back in time when it was still sailing under the arc90-flag.

  2. Sorry, Marco. Don’t email me.

  3. To be clear, I wish nothing but the best to Instapaper and I’m a regular at Marco’s podcast.