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iOS 5 Spotlight – Reading List

by on July 19th, 2011

With the imminent release of iOS 5 in the next few weeks, I wanted to take the time to go through some of the lesser known, but seemingly useful features of iOS 5 to get you all ready. Let’s get started this week with Safari’s Reading List.

The Reading List is somewhat of a mishmash of an RSS feed, Instapaper, and regular Safari bookmarks that acts as a quick notepad for interesting links that you discover online, but simply don’t have time to read at that moment (but not permanent enough to stick around as a bookmark). It’s accessed under Reading List through Safari’s Bookmarks menu, and clicking on the Add icon will add the URL to your reading list. Granted, it’s a pretty minimal feature, and on the surface, seems pretty useless, but the possibilities can make this one of my go-to features in iOS 5.

Firstly, integration of the list on your iCloud could mean that these links can be shared amongst all you devices, making for a seamless online experience that already exist for Chrome and Firefox on the Android side. Next, opening up this function across all apps (including, say, Twitter, Facebook and Google+) could improve the overall app user experience by keeping users engaged within the app for as long as possible, without having to leave the app to explore other content.

There are one or two drawbacks though. Unlike Instapaper, it doesn’t save the content of a page for offline reading. You’ll still need an internet connection to read whatever you save. Also, the function (as it is in iOS5b3) seems limited to only Safari, so other browsers will need to wait for Apple to open up this feature in subsequent releases. Overall, though, I don’t think either of these are great concerns for average users. Still, the fact that the feature is somewhat buried in the bookmarks may mean that this feature will remain under-used. Hopefully, this quick spotlight will encourage you all to consider using it when iOS gets released.

Are there any new features that you’d like a quick spotlight on? Drop a line below and I’ll do my best to give a sneak peek.

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  • http://www.gamerant.com/ alex_sebenski

    Using “Spotlight” in your headline is somewhat confusing.

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca Gary

    Reading List is a great feature. Instapaper is still great for saving bookmarks to be accessed from anywhere though.

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca Gary

    Reading List is a great feature. Instapaper is still great for saving bookmarks to be accessed from anywhere though.