Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New "apps" will make web-reading easier for viewers

We've blogged before about how the web and devices like Kindle are changing the way we read (devices that track eye movement show that readers tend to skim e-text whereas we read p-text in a more conventional, thorough manner).  Of course this has implications for how we teach students to be critical readers and whether and how lawyers should alter their writing style for judges who may do more online reading. 

This New York Times article discusses a couple of apps that make web reading a little easier by stripping away the extraneous stuff like advertising and pop-ups.  

The DVR rocked the world of television by letting viewers skip commercials and build their own home viewing schedules. Now a handful of Web services and applications are starting to do much the same thing to online publishers.

These tools make it easier for people to read Web articles how, when and where they want, often dispensing with publishers’ carefully arranged layouts and advertisements.

One popular tool, Readability, strips articles to the bare minimum of text and photographs with a single click.

. . . .

Readability is one of many services experimenting with the future of reading. A wave of applications, including Pulse, Flipboard and My Taptu, are responding to changes in how people prefer to read on the Web, putting articles and blog posts into cleaner or more attractive visual displays.

Nate Weiner, founder of Read It Later, a Web and mobile service that saves articles to be read offline, said there was a larger shift under way, one that mirrors the move to digital from print. Instead of thumbing through the newspaper over breakfast, he said, people like to read articles from many sources on their commutes or in the evening, often using mobile devices.

“People don’t really want to have to be confined to a specific place, time, site or device to read content,” Mr. Weiner said.

You can read the rest here.


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