I’ve written about Read It Later before (not that it’s any secret), along with a few extensions related to the service. The idea behind Read It Later is that often as people browse the Web, articles or websites pop up that are interesting, but that for whatever reason, not enough time exists “right now” to read them. Rather than copying down the link or adding the page to the browser bookmarks, Read It Later allows the site to be added to a temporary list of pages. This list, which is either available at the Read It Later website, or through one of the many extensions or other applications (for iPhone, Android and other portable devices), can be synchronized across multiple computers or devices, so a person’s reading list is always available. There isn’t an official Google Chrome extension for Read It Later, but I recently took at look at Postponer, a set of extensions that uses the service, and was really impressed.
As I mentioned, Postponer is actually two different extensions: Postponer Adder and Postponer Manager. This is because, according to the developer, Google Chrome’s extension API doesn’t allow a single extension to place icons in both the URL bar and the toolbar. Postponer Adder, then, displays an icon in the URL bar and allows quick additions to the Read It Later reading list, while Postponer Manager allows access to the Read It Later reading list via the toolbar icon.
Using Postponer is very simple. Once the two extensions are installed (it should be noted you can also use them independently, or by using a different, complementary extension), you can add new items to your Read It Later reading list by clicking the Postponer Adder icon in the URL bar. A little window pops up, showing you a couple options. You can give the website a descriptive name as well as add tags to the saved link. When you’re finished, just click the Save button. If you’re not logged into your Read It Later account, you’ll be asked for your credentials, and when the link is saved, you’ll see a quick confirmation message.
Postponer Adder also has the option to place little icons inside Google Reader articles. This is useful as many RSS or Atom feeds, which are used in Google Reader, don’t contain full article text, but only short selections. And for people who subscribe to a large number of feeds in Google Reader, it can be time-consuming to read everything in its entirety. With the new Postponer Adder icon located nearby each article’s title, it’s easy to add items that are interesting, for later reading.
Accessing your Read It Later reading list takes place in the Postponer Manager extension. This extension is located in the toolbar. Once clicked, you’ll see the items currently in your reading list. From here you can read any of the articles in your reading list, as either a text-only version of the article (read inside the extension itself), or via the actual web page, inside your browser. To read the article inside the extension, click the large letter “T” (for Text), or when you no longer want the article in your reading list, click the red check mark to remove it. You can also set up the extension so that the toolbar icon also displays a red badge, representing the number of articles to read.
Since the extension shows the interface from the Read It Later website, there are a few options (such as the ability to save your reading list for offline mode, as well as the digest mode, a feature currently in beta development), that might not work as well as they could. Still, the whole Postponer experience is a good one, and of all the Read It Later extensions I’ve tried for Google Chrome, among the best. Hopefully, when Read It Later completely moves their offline reading feature to HTML5, it will be even better. But for those of us who use Read It Later, but who don’t use it on an iPod, iPhone or other mobile device, it’s about as good as a Read It Later extension can get.
Postponer Google Code Page: