Showdown: Instapaper Vs. Readability

Ever came across a long article and wish you could read it in a ad-free, customizable place? Instapaper and Readability do just that, and that’s what today’s showdown is about.



Winner: Readability

Interface plays a big role, after all, these two apps are intended to make an article clutter free and put it on a neat interface for comfortable reading.

Readability has a really clean interface allowing you to customize the background color, spacing between the letters and font size. If you use Kindle to read articles, then you can also use the ‘Send to Kindle’ feature. One thing you may miss when you navigate from the article page, is the sharing buttons, but with Readability you can even share the article on Facebook and Twitter.

Compared to Readability, Instapaper doesn’t offer much customization.

3rd Party Apps and Integration

Winner: Instapaper

There are tons of apps which use Instapaper’s API, notable are Readnow for Mac, Instafetch for Android and many more. Instapaper is integrated into more than 50 popular iOS apps including Feed Readers, Twitter clients, for example if you use Hootsuite on your iPhone, you can send the links which you come across in your timeline directly to Instapaper.

Readability has released API very lately, apps using it are The Telepaper, Readit for Android and a few more. It’s integrated into very few apps.

Available Platforms

Winner: Instapaper

Instapaper is available on iOS, web, also available as a bookmarklet. On the other hand, Readability doesn’t just have a dedicated iOS app, which is a total let down, although there are addons and bookmarklets.


Winner: Instapaper

If you ever want to quit Instapaper, you can download the list of articles you saved for reading later, along with you, similar to Google Takeout. You can also organize the saved articles using folders, which isn’t available in Readability.

Final Note

Instapaper and Readabilty are great apps for no-nonsense reading, but the 3rd party apps supporting Instapaper makes it better, but that’s more of my personal opinion. Trying both the services is the best way to know the right one for you.

Tell us which one you use, Instapaper or Readability?

Link: Instapaper | Readability


Kavya Hari November 28, 2011

Instapaper and readability are great apps and its one of the great place to know about them on here. Thank you so much for sharing your post on here 🙂

David.P January 31, 2012

Hi everyone,

just recently, seems to have changed their tool in such a way that it is not possible anymore to link directly to the Readability (stripped) view.

Any ideas for a hack in order to get the direct link functionality back would be greatly appreciated!


Vibin February 1, 2012

I don’t think so. still works for me, perfectly. For example, here’s an article I stripped & shortened using

David.P February 1, 2012

It works like it used to if you are logged in. Non-Members are presented with the original page (and a Readability frame on top of it).

Vibin February 2, 2012

Oh, I didn’t anchor the link in my last comment, anyway. Well, yes, if you don’t sign in, you can’t get the stripped view, I guess that’s a bug. But why don’t you keep logged in?

David.P February 2, 2012

I don’t think it’s a bug. They want to offer the Readability view and STILL don’t take advertising revenues from websites….

And I’d like to give those links to other people in order to offer them the stripped down articles DIRECTLY. So it doesn’t help when I am staying logged in.

Vibin February 2, 2012

Even Instapaper and Read it later has the same problem. You’re right they’re doing this to keep their services free.