Over the weekend, I decided to give Readwise’s Reader application a spin. After seeing several tweets about the product, I thought it might be a way to combine my Instapaper and Feedbin subscriptions. After exploring the product over the weekend, I’ve decided to stick with Instapaper and Feedbin.
There’s nothing majorly wrong with Reader. It’s a fine read-it-later product and has many great features. It’s still in beta, though, but there’s nothing there that would stop others from seeing the value in it.
My main gripe with Reader is that it tries to do this and several other things, all in the same product. Saving articles for later is known, but it also allows you to subscribe to feeds and newsletters, send emails to Reader and upload PDFs and EPUBs. That’s a heck of a feature set, and while it can do all these things, I already have these features covered elsewhere.
My Kindle and Books apps handle any books that I might be reading. Instapaper is my go-to read-it-later service. Feedbin is what I use to subscribe to Youtube channels, RSS feeds, email newsletters and Twitter lists. Finally, between Hey and Basecamp, I have places for keeping emails.
The main difference I found is that while Reader does all these things, I am happier with the products I already use. That might be harsh comparing established products to Reader when it is still in beta. I did find Reader tricky to navigate through, and it just didn’t flow for me in the same way that Feedbin or Instapaper does. I’ve no doubt that Reader will improve over time, though I’m content with the setup I have now.
Tuesday December 20, 2022