Readwise Reader is the Best Read Later Service for Apple News+ Subscribers
I recently started giving Apple News another shot. I'm an Apple One subscriber, so I figured why the hell not, I'm paying for it, after all. My issue is that my reading habits are based around RSS and a read later service (Readwise). Personally, I want to find things to read in Apple News, save them to Readwise, and read them when I'm ready. I have memories of this straight up not working in the past, but I gave it another shot today and after some testing, I think I've got an understanding of how this works with different read later services.
This is where I started and I'm happy to say it works pretty darn well! The formatting is spot on, it didn't grab any extra cruft from the story (like related articles at the bottom of the Apple News page), it lists the correct author, and it marks it as a link from Apple News.
Update: I have noticed that occasionally I will save a News link, everything will be fine, and then several minutes later a "duplicate" article will be saved, this time showing the URL for the website, not Apple News. It's not every time, but it does seem to be a bug and I've reported it to the company. Two well-formatted saves are better than zero, so still my fav, but not quite perfect yet.
Matter is an interesting case. It does go just as well as Readwise at parsing the full article, however it does have a couple oddities.
- It doesn't quite get the author correct all the time.
- It doesn't save the Apple News article, it saves the redirect link to whatever page this is on the web. It got the full text of the article this time because this article is free. If it was paywalled, then you would see something more like this. Boo.
You will sometimes see paywalled articles show in full text, but this is kinda random, and totally dependent on whether the site you're saving thinks Matter's server is able to read the page for free or not. It's inconsistent at best.
Pocket is pretty much the same as Matter in that it redirects to the web and whether it can save the full text of the article is totally dependent on whether the site lets Pocket's service see the full text without a subscription.
I also find that in general, Pocket errs on the side of saving too much of the site. This is more of a taste thing, but prepare for a bunch of junk at the bottom of many of these articles.
This one is much like Matter and Pocket in that it redirects to the web URL and saves the content from there, so the paywall limitations also apply here.
The wrinkle I've seen with Instapaper though is that it straight up breaks often with Apple News links. The New Yorker example I've used in the other screenshots doesn't parse and actually errors whenever I try to read it. Yayyyy…
And to make things weirder, sometimes it looks like Instapaper is able to parse these articles (like this from The Atlantic, see the 22 minute read time indicator), but it fails to load the content no matter what I do.
Overall, I'd say the results are inconsistent enough that I would avoid this with Apple News links if you can. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, and it's unclear when it will work or not.
I'm actually really impressed with Readwise Reader here, as it is the only app of the ones I tested that returned consistent results. I could understand the desire to maybe save the web URL instead of the Apple News URL, but in my opinion, if I get the web URL but not the full content, then it's not super useful for me. Besides, Apple News links should redirect to the web on non-Apple devices, so it's not like that apple.news link is totally useless.