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If you’re a Safari user, you probably like the built in ad-stripping, easy-reading feature, Safari Reader. If you’re not, and you’re using Firefox or Chrome (I’ll happily side-step IE on this one), then you may be either jealous of the Safari functionality, or using an extension or bookmarklet like Readability (check out our post on the Readability+Evernote combo-bookmarklet). While Readability is great, Safari Reader is a step up — and the iReader extension for Google Chrome and Firefox is even better.
iReader is a near direct clone of Safari Reader. It installs a button into your browser’s address bar that appears when you are on an article-style page of a website.
When you click this handy little button, iReader strips out all of the ads and other extraneous layout elements of the web page, re-displaying it in a lightbox-style overlay that is incredibly easy to read. The fact that it doesn’t just reconfigure the page, as Readability does, but allows you to go back to the original look with just one click outside the article or press of escape, is a huge improvement. The easy scrolling and additional interaction buttons that appear when hovering the mouse over the bottom of the window are also an improvement over Readability’s UI.
Check out how iReader looks compared to Readability, below:
It’s in the interaction buttons that iReader improves even upon its progenitor. Safari Reader only offers the options to increase/decrease text size, and to email or print the article. iReader takes that a step further by offering Tweet This Page and Send to Facebook buttons, the ability to remove images completely, as well as additional options such as background opacity, hotkey assignment, mail articles from Gmail, smooth scroll, and article style control.
It’s unfortunate that iReader doesn’t integrate directly into Evernote, but using the email button and your Evernote account’s email address, solves that problem handily. iReader is a great addition to your Google Chrome or Firefox Browser. Check it out for Chrome here and Firefox here.
What are your thoughts on iReader? Let us know in the comments!