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Top 5 reasons to get a dedicated reader app for Android or iOS

Ben Patterson | July 13, 2015
As good as they are at loading web pages quickly and precisely on smaller screens, both Safari for iOS and Chrome for Android are terrible when it comes to loading a massive page-turner of an article--you know, that one you want to curl up with on a lazy Sunday.

Top 5 reasons to get a reader app for iOS or Android

As good as they are at loading web pages quickly and precisely on smaller screens, both Safari for iOS and Chrome for Android are terrible when it comes to loading a massive page-turner of an article--you know, that one you want to curl up with on a lazy Sunday.

For starters, not all web articles are formatted for mobile reading, meaning you'll have to wade your way through tiny text and massive ads--and even with Safari's "reader" mode, you'll still have to settle for the uninspiring font Apple picked for you.

And if you can't finish that monster of an article in one sitting, neither Chrome nor Safari will be much help when it comes to saving your place. More likely than not, both browsers will simply reload the page when you get back to it, plopping you right back to the top of the story.

Or what if there's no Internet connection? At least Safari has its "reading list" feature, which saves web pages for offline reading, but Chrome users are out of luck.

The solution: a dedicated reader app, and here's five reasons why iPhone- and Android-toting bookworms shouldn't be without one.

1. They'll reformat articles to be easier on the eyes

You know how good the pages look in apps like Amazon's Kindle, Apple's iBooks, and Google's Play Books? The best dedicated reader apps--such as Instapaper, Pocket, and Readability--can do pretty much the same thing for almost any article on the web.

Each of those three apps (and if you look, you'll find others on the App Store and Play stores, too) will let you change fonts and font sizes, as well as pick your own background color for the screen. If you're an Instapaper user, you can adjust line spacing and margins, too, meaning you can tweak the text until you get it just right.

Of course, Safari for iOS has its "reader" mode (tap the three-line button on the left side of the address bar), and it works in a pinch; that said, you're stuck with a sans-serif font on a white background, with font size being the only customizable setting.

2. You can flip pages through your articles

Given that the 30,000-word stories you'll find in the New Yorker are essentially novellas, the option to turn pages rather than just scroll is a welcome one.

Both Pocket and Instapaper boast such "pagination" features, and Instapaper adds the snazzy option (on its iOS app, anyway) of animated curly pages, just like in iBooks and Google Play Books.

 

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