Read it later is great iPhone app/Firefox plugin combo

read it later firefox pluginI came across what I¬† think is a great concept. Read it later works a little like temporary bookmarking. The idea is that you will have articles that you come across that you want to look at again, but don’t want to hold in your bookmarks to come back to again and again. These “read once” items can get lost in your book marks too.

Read it later comes as a plug-in for Firefox,which I am using, and an iPhone app. They indicate on the website they have options for IE, Safari, and other mobile devices too. The Firefox plug-in works great. There is a small button to the right of the RSS and Favorite icons up in the search bar that you can use to add pages to your list. There is another small arrow to the right of the search entry that allows you to access your items. The plug-in displays an icon, title, and short description so it is easy to see what you have saved.

A great feature is that you can create an online account. With this account, your items are synced immediately across whatever browsers you have the plug-in installed in. This is great to allow you to “send something home” for example to read later.

readItLaterThe iPhone app is needed because you can’t add a plug-in to mobile safari. You can add a javascript based Bookmarklet, which allows you to mark items you find in safari to be added to your read later list. You need the app to took at and read the items you have marked and would like to read on your iPhone. The app lets you read and manage all the items you have saved to your list. The free version seems to do what I want: let me read the items, and rotate the screen. You will have to check their site for what extra the paid version does.

What I like is the way to get items to my desktop. When I follow along in twitter, I keep finding people linking to sites that have flash, that I can’t see, or a resource I want to download on my desktop. What I used to do, is copy a url and then email it to myself. Painful. This is much better. On a page in Safari, I press the bookmarks icon, then the Read it later bookmarklet. The item is saved. You can even edit the title and give it keywords if you wanted.¬† Then when I get home, I have simple access to these items in Firefox via the plug-in.

Press the arrow on the right of the tool bar, and there’s the list. Select, read, then mark the item as read, and it dissapears off the list. It really only goes the the archive, and you can retrieve items from the archive if you want to. Pretty slick.

I am using the app as a web reading to-do list, and a way to get content from my iPhone to my desktop. Works great for me. Check out Read it later.