Should Pocket and Instapaper Worry about Android Chrome’s New Feature?

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Save webpage for offline in chrome

Over the past few years the world of internet and mobile is revolutionized dramatically. Users today expect the websites to load faster and accessible even when they are offline. Services such as Pocket and Instapaper answers that problem. They allow users to bookmark a webpage and save the contents on your smartphone and tablets, so you can read it later.

Now, the big daddy Google has joined the club. As an experimental feature, Google released a new feature to download website for offline use for Android Chrome users. This feature is available from Android Chrome version 55 and above. If you have installed the older version of chrome, you can update it from Google Play.

How to Save Webpages in Android Chrome?

  • Update Android Chrome browser to at least version 55.
  • Open the webpage you want to save
  • After the page is loaded, tap on the options menu (flanked by 3 dots on the top right) and click download button to save page for offline viewing.

As the download completes, the website will be marked as available offline as depicted in the above picture. You will be able to download HTML5 videos or audio this way as long as the website has no custom controls or it is a live stream.

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Should Pocket and Instapaper Worry?

Pocket and Instapaper are the only two serious “Read it later” services available in market. They allow you to save articles and videos from desktop browsers or mobile apps. Once the link is saved, it automatically syncs the content to your phone, tablet, and desktop applications. Both the apps brings tons of distinct feature that makes them unique in market. Along with bookmarking webpage, it also offers smarter way to organize, manage and search your saved links.

Here are of some of the reasons why you should consider using Read it later services over Android Chrome “save for later” feature.

  • Google Android downloads the entire webpage and render as is for reading offline. However, the read it later services, filter only the website content and makes it more readable by removing ads and other distractive website widgets.
  • Both Pocket and Instapaper offers smart way of organizing the bookmarked pages into simple lists and allows options to manage similar content into different tags/directories.
  • You can search contents by keywords
  • Pocket and Instapaper mobile apps uses native devices features such as text to speech, reading control, night mode, etc.

Also read, Pocket and Instapaper head-to-head comparison.

Currently Google Chrome for Android doesn’t allow any of the above advance features, this means when when your list grows it is difficult to manage and find the content you need. If you’re a regular reader like me, you probably better of being with apps like Pocket or Instapaper, but for those who like to keep installed apps to a minimum, there’s already a way to save webpages for offline viewing built right in to your Android devices.

However, we must understand that, it is just a initial experimental release. We must wait for the days to come and hope that Google gives me enough reason to stick to the Chrome ecosystem.

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