The web's reading platform.

What We’re About

While we’re hacking away on some great new features for Readability, we thought now would be a great time to pause, come up for air and share what we’re about:

  1. We want more people to read great stuff on the web.
  2. We want to evolve the model that supports the publishers who create that great work.
  3. We want the experience of reading that work to be as pleasant and rewarding as possible.
  4. We believe the fundamentals of publishing, writing and reading on the web are evolving rapidly.

How we consume things is changing and the original notion of “publish and consume in the web browser” is being challenged. What is clear from everyone’s experiments, including our own, is that the current reading experience isn’t as good as both writers and readers deserve. As we build innovative tools and products here at Readability, we think carefully about the decisions we make. We’re a small, independent, bootstrapped company, but we think we can have a big impact on how everyone reads. And we know it’s an important opportunity because we’re joined by a number of innovative companies, both big and small, who are all trying different ways to make this work.

Reading a web page in your web browser is simple enough, but the other ways we can work with that story today are nearly infinite. For example:

  • If you send a tweeted link from your Twitter app to your Instapaper account, it lands there without you ever viewing the original web page.
  • If you open just about any link in a news reading app like Zite, you will find the content of that article without ever viewing the original web page.
  • If you turn on a mobilizer view in some popular Twitter clients, you will open a mobile view of a page without ever viewing the original web page.
  • …and who knows what’s possible with the right combination of IFTTT and Pinboard and many other powerful, awesome apps that share, remix, store and reformat content.

We’re fortunate that people are passionate about this stuff, passionate enough to really get their emotions going. Even people who work in the same office as our Readability team have fallen into the mistaken belief that this is somehow a team sport where we have to choose sides between different apps. So it’s no wonder that even smart, thoughtful writers can say surprisingly vitriolic things with uncharacteristic thoughtlessness when writing about an area as exciting as this one.

Paying Publishers

We are immensely proud of one key part of our experiments with Readability so far: We cut checks to writers. And we want to cut more of them. We welcome more readers to pay and more publishers to register and claim their money. We take pride in being the first reading platform to try something this radical. Is our method of paying publishers the right one? Almost certainly not yet. If you’re a publisher and are uncomfortable for any reason, contact us and we’ll fix the issue.

We’re experimenting because we do not believe that, ten years from now, advertisers will be happily paying for CPM banner ads on a site that people leave to read in some other app. And we don’t believe that publishers will support over the long term paid apps which generate no revenue for the publisher. The model we’re experimenting with definitely has its challenges, and we’re going to be careful about how we handle change because we made a public promise by way of our model.

Above all else, we take great pride in what we are about. Many publishers have approached us with both words of encouragement and opportunities to work together. Countless developers have built a thriving ecosystem around the platform. These bridges have been built because we’ve gone about this endeavor with purpose, integrity and a profound belief in the words great writers write and the meaning that readers find in them.

We’ve got more great things to come as we look ahead. And by “we” we mean our partners and the amazing community that has embraced Readability. Stay tuned.

Tap Into The Readability API—Instantly

It’s easy to casually throw around the word “platform” when you’re building a technology, but for us the term carries special meaning. Since day one, we’ve aspired to make Readability a foundational service that others can build upon, not just a singular reading app.

I’m proud to say that we’ve made our platform goal a reality. Even before our native iOS and Android apps were released, 90% of our reading traffic came through our APIs—from apps like Pulse, Reeder, Longform and others that heavily use our service. We’re proud to see others climb on our shoulders to make reading better and we’re excited to see what other apps, scripts, and services—large or small—will leverage the platform in the future. So what can you build with the Readability API?

  • Leverage everything Readability has to offer and build entire full-featured clients on any platform or device.
  • Deliver a simple and clean normalized reading view of any web article with Readability’s best-of-breed parser.
  • Allow readers to send web URL’s to their reading list from anywhere.

Starting today, we’re lowering the bar to get started even further: anyone with a Readability user account can obtain an API key via their account settings page. (The astute Readability user might notice that this has been around for a couple of weeks. We would have announced this sooner, but we’ve had a lot of things to talk about lately.)

To generate your key, go to your Connections page while logged in to your Readability account and fill out the form describing your project. You’ll get your key immediately.

We’re happy to make it even easier to build on the full Readability feature set. Lowering the barrier for developer engagement is just a means to an end: to make reading better everywhere, both inside and out of Readability. We can’t wait to see what people build next.

Happy coding!

Readability for Android: Now Available on Google Play Worldwide

A quick update for Android users out there: Readability is now available in the U.S. and worldwide on Google Play. It’s a free download optimized for both Android smartphones and tablets.

We’ve also heard your feedback and have already made some important updates to the app, including native sharing menus. More improvements are on the way.

Readability for Android is free and available now on Google Play.

Ready for Your New iPad: High-Res Readability

It’s been an insane few weeks here at Readability HQ between the release of Readability for iOS on March 1 and release of Readability for Android on Monday. The avalanche of activity that came our way made us feel a little like this guy. But don’t get us wrong, the wild ride has been welcome.

From the start, we wanted the apps to be drop-dead gorgeous. And today we’re proud to announce that right on time for the new iPads, Readability has been updated and is available in the App Store in hi-res, retina-display-ready glory. If you’re on the fence about grabbing a new iPad, firing up Readability with its gorgeous typography and elegant interactions on the new iPad may well push you over the edge. We hate to say this in a blog post, but you really have to see it live.

Readability on the new iPad

Of course, Readability still works inside of a host of apps, including an amazing integration with the newly updated hi-res version of the Reeder app. And Readability renders perfectly well on all the previous generations of iPhones and iPads as well. If you already have the Readability app, don’t forget to upgrade. If you don’t, well you definitely don’t have an excuse now. It’s free and ready to go on the App Store.

Robots Rejoice: Readability for Android is Here!

TL;DR: Readability for Android is live. Go get it!

As we’ve evolved from being crouched over our laptops to carrying full-fledged computers in our pockets, the reading experience has become increasingly mobile and flexible. We want to be a able to read — comfortably — whenever and wherever we are.
Readability for AndroidYou can’t talk about mobile without recognizing the rise of the Android platform. We’re proud to announce the availability of Readability for Android devices and tablets. It’s a free Android app that scales beautifully to the Android device of your choice, large or small. It sports the same elegant get-out-of-the-way interface and gorgeous H&FJ typography that made Readability for iOS such a big hit.

It’s a free app built in partnership with our friends at Teehan+Lax. it’s exclusively available in the U.S. on the Amazon App Store. If you’re outside the U.S., you can get Readability on Google Play (formerly the Android Market).

Update: Readability is now available on Google Play in the U.S. and around to world. You can still also download on the Amazon App Store.

Readability, Meet Android

The response to Readability for iOS blew us away. It was a long time coming, but we couldn’t have asked for a better reception. We’ve got some great improvements coming so if you own an iPhone or iPad, by all means go get it.

Readability at its core is a service and platform. Our goal is to make reading great on any platform, device or app, including our own. In that same spirit we’re thrilled to announce that Readability for Android devices will be available on Monday, March 12.

We went to great lengths to bring the same polished, content-centric experience in iOS to Android devices. It sports the same beautiful typography by Hoefler & Frere-Jones and even scales up nicely to handle larger Android devices like the Kindle Fire.

We’re convinced that Readability for Android will stand tall among Android apps. It’s a level of polish rarely seen on the platform and we can’t wait to get it into your hands on Monday.

An iOS Browser with Readability Baked Right In

Readability’s roots are in the browser. We started as a bookmarklet back in 2009; our browser add-ons have been installed millions of times since then and remain one of the most popular aspects of our service.

But for all our success on Chrome and Firefox and IE, mobile and tablet browsers have remained tricky. You can install the Readability bookmarklets on your iPhone or iPad, but it’s cludgy, making browsing using Readability on iOS pretty rough…until now.

The newest version of iCab Mobile—a replacement web browser for iOS—brings the entire Readability feature set into your browsing experience.

iCab Mobile

You can read now, read later and access your Readability Reading List right inside the iCab browser. You can even sign up to Readability from within the app. It’s a great way to deeply integrate Readability into your web browsing experience on iOS.

iCab Mobile is yet another great example of how Readability can help enrich apps and services anywhere. It works on both your iPhone and iPad and is available on iTunes. We highly recommend it.

It’s Here: Readability for iPhone & iPad

After a few twists and a few turns, Readability for iOS — a free app for both your iPhone and iPad — is now available. We know a lot of you have been waiting for this. We couldn’t be more excited to deliver it. Readability for iOS is the product of a collaboration between the Readability team and the talented designers and builders at Teehan+Lax. It also sports beautiful typography from none other than Hoefler & Frere-Jones.

We wanted to create something that makes it as easy as possible to queue up and take web articles anywhere you go on your iPhone or iPad. Our guiding principle was simple: get out of the reader’s way. We hope you like it.

Readability is a free, universal app available on the iTunes App Store. What are you waiting for? Go get it!

Readability for iOS Arrives March 1

It’s been awhile but we’re finally here. Next week Readability for iOS will debut on the iTunes App Store. It’s a universal app that will work on both your iPhone and iPad. It’s free and will be available March 1.

The primary motivation behind the app is simplicity. We didn’t want to cake on features and above all else we didn’t want to get in the way of the reading experience.

The app is the product of a collaboration between the Readability team and the talented and generally awesome folks at Teehan+Lax. We hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we enjoyed creating it.

Readability Everywhere

While we’re incredibly excited to get the flagship apps out into the world, we’re equally proud of the tremendous developer interest in Readability. You can see the fruits of that work to date on our Apps page. We continue to be fully committed to empowering other apps and services with the Readability tool set. If you’ve got ideas or are itching to build atop or alongside Readability, by all means get in touch.

We look forward to getting the app into your hands. If you’d like to be notified once the app is available, you can leave your email address here.

Tomorrow’s Newspaper: The Early Edition 2 for iPad

It must seem like every post on this blog these days is about yet another implementation of Readability. And while we’ve got a lot more to say about reading and the platform in general, we’ll admit we get pretty giddy when we see others bring Readability to life inside their apps and services—especially integration as thorough as in The Early Edition 2 for the iPad.

Early Edition 2

The Early Edition delivers an elegant, newspaper-like experience across various topics of your choosing. Find an article you want to read and a quick swipe up brings up the Readability shoebox. You can access your entire Readability list, favorites and archives right from within the app.

The Early Edition 2 is $2.99 on iTunes. If you’ve already got a Readability account—and if you don’t, what are you waiting for?—it’s yet another great way to read the web comfortably.