10 Apps & Sites That Bring Back the Joy of Reading

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1. Clearly

Evernote, the Mountain View, CA-based online note-keeping startup, introduced Clearly in November. It’s a browser plugin—currently available only for Google’s Chrome browser, but coming soon to other browsers—that reformats any Web page for easy reading in one click. It removes all ads, navigation, and graphics, leaving just the text (including links). You can customize the Clearly page’s typeface, font size, and the background color, and there’s a button that lets you save the stripped-down content directly to your Evernote account.

At the moment, that Evernote button is the only big feature that differentiates Clearly from other browser-based reading tools. But Evernote CEO Phil Libin tells me that the product will evolve fast. “The goal of Clearly is not to get rid of things, it’s to make things clearer—to make a beautiful long-form reading experience and increase your comprehension of what you’re reading,” he says. “The first step of that is to take away the distractions that take away from comprehension. The next step is to add, in a way that doesn’t get in the way, things that will help with comprehension, like related information, definitions, and other things”—possibly including links to related information you’ve stored in Evernote.

(By the way, I’ll be interviewing Libin on stage next week at our Xconomy Xchange event, “The 100 Year Company: An Evening with Evernote, Morgenthaler, and Sequoia.”)

Next app: Instapaper.

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Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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