Read It Later (RIL) offers an easy way to create a reading list of articles that you didn’t have time to read when you first came across them (say, at work). You can add articles to your Read It Later queue from a host of desktop and Web applications, such as Google Chrome, Firefox, Pulse Reader, and almost 300 other apps.
Read It Later Pro, RIL’s official mobile client, lets you manage your reading list and read articles you’ve been meaning to get to. The idea is that you launch Read it Later Pro when you have a few moments to kill–and instantly you get something interesting to read.
In practice, Read It Later Pro works quite well. When I added an article from my desktop via Chrome, it instantly showed up on the Android client’s reading list. Tapping its title in the reading list took me to a mobile-optimized view of the text, including images.
The mobile view was easy to read, but not perfect: The original article I tested was a Wikipedia link, and though the text was formatted to fit the phone’s narrow screen, a very wide blank margin to the right made scrolling a bit awkward because I could scroll horizontally (into the blank space) as well as vertically. When I scrolled all the way down, I discovered that the margin was due to a single long link in the source article – something that RIL ought to have handled more gracefully.
I previously used RIL as a queue for websites I wanted to visit; thus, my reading list was full of irrelevant links to websites (rather than useful links to articles). When I used RIL’s website to wipe the list clean, the mobile version did not correctly sync with it; in fact, the mobile app still tried to download the contents of my old list even after I’d cleared it.
RIL’s free version works just as well as the paid one. The only major difference is that the $3 Pro version lets you filter your reading list by title, URL or tag–a feature that most users may not care about. The most compelling reason to buy RIL Pro is to support the developer–but for me, that’s reason enough to purchase this handy app.