pocket, instapaper and similar apps

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iOS & iPadOS

What is the most accessible of them? I can read stuff with pocket but it's home screen is a mess to navigate with voiceover. I haven't tested instapaper so no idea how good it is regarding accessibility and ease of use.

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Submitted by Patrick Smyth on Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Instapaper is more accessible, but I don't use it because you can't customize the keyboard shortcut that lets you save articles and it conflicts with other shortcuts I use a lot. I use Pocket, but yeah, the main screen is a mess. I've gotten used to it, though, just ignore all the fake buttons that appear (I know). Another option is to use Pocket and then import all the articles into Voice Dream Reader and listen to them in there, I fall back to that if Pocket is being particularly flaky.

I actually did a phone call with someone at Mozilla after they acquired Pocket to talk about accessibility and features. That was about a year ago and I've seen no progress. Mozilla is supposed to be one of the good ones but this app doesn't need much work to be accessible and they've shown very little interest in doing that work. I listen to about 8-9 million words in Pocket every year (yeah, maybe too much) and I don't even pay for the pro account because I can't in good conscience pay for something that only has incidental accessibility.

So apart from this shortcut inconvenience, would you say Instapaper is the best choice for accessibility? ON pocket, I can't even change playback speed, as the controls disappear from the screen. The tags thing seem good at first, but the mess of the home tab is really annoying. I wouldn't like to be forced to export articles to another app to read them reliably, since I can't afford voice dream reader at the moment.
Thanks for your response.

Submitted by Vincent van Itallie on Tuesday, November 17, 2020

HI,

I use instapaper, I like the way instapaper integrates with other apps.
I pay for the pro version so I can search my saved articles, and read article within the app and best of all:
I can import articles in to voicedream reader.
The app is a bit a typical to use, you will find controls at the bottom of the app.
What I also like is that it will integrate with fieryfeeds, my rss reader of choise,when I am using an IPad.

Submitted by WellF on Tuesday, November 17, 2020

In reply to by Vincent van Itallie

Can you read well inside INstapaper itself? I'm interested on the way you can organize stuff on the app, as pocket's tags serve me nothing the way the app is.
Thanks for your response.

Submitted by Skippy on Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Hello, I've recently started using instapaper, and love it! I was even able to import my articles from pocket, so didn't lose anything during the transition. I'm seriously considering becoming a premium subscriber, simply because I appreciate their responsiveness, and commitment to accessability.

The social integration is also really nice. It's kind of difficult to link your social accounts, using the app, but the good news, is that you can do it on instapaper.com/user, and it'll sync to the app automatically.

I haven't quite figured out the whole friends thing, so if anyone figures that out, please feel free to leave a comment, letting me know.

Have you find out how to access all folders you create? I can only access two from the main menu.

Submitted by Skippy on Tuesday, November 17, 2020

In reply to by WellF

Hi,
If you double-tap to access the menu, and keep swiping right, all your folders should be there. What 2 folders are you able to see?

Submitted by RDK on Wednesday, November 18, 2020

If you on Apple products only, GoodLinks or Abyss may worth to check out. Both apps uses iCloud sync, so they don't have subscription. If you used pocket, Abyss have same design and very accessible. In pocket you needed to swipe to move between different actions, but in Abyss you can simply flick up or down to make these actions.

GoodLinks have a little different UI, but still very accessible.

Both apps are tag based.

I use an Iphone SE 2016 and a windows PC. I'm gonna test these two anyway, even if I can't use them outside my phone. Thank you very much!

No idea why the app wouldn't show the folders I created, but now they appear all in the main menu as you said in another comment.
Are the devs open to suggestions? I mean, it's good we can read and organize stuff but I think it could be better optimized for us Voiceover users. Rotor actions, even custom gestures inside the app would make using it more pleasant.

Submitted by Skippy on Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Hi,
Yes, they are absolutely open to suggestions.
At one point, they had an Apple Watch app, but they took it away, because very few people used it. I sent them an email, suggesting that they bring it back, because I want to be able to read Insta paper on my watch.
They said that they are only a team of two, but that they would look into what it would take to bring it back.
You can send them an email, or tweet them. I find email to be quickest. Sometimes it may take a day or two for them to respond, so just be patient.

I'd like to read more opinions from blind users, so we could sent them a more comprehensive set of accessibility related suggestions.

Submitted by Skippy on Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Hi,
I recently found a Twitter client I like on Windows. For those who are curious, it’s called chicken nugget.
It has integration with pocket. However, I’ve been using Insta paper for the past few months, and like it as well, but I don’t necessarily need both.
I agree that Instapaper is much easier to use, but being able to save items from that Twitter client, on my Windows machines, is extremely handy.

Do you guys think I should keep using Insta paper, or switch back to using pocket?

Do you think you can handle pocket's chaotic interface? If yes, go for it. If not, just open the link on firefox or whatever then save to instapaper. That's my way, cause I can't bare pocket anymore.

Submitted by Skippy on Thursday, January 14, 2021

Hi,
The UI of the pocket app, isn't horrible. It's a little clunky, but voiceover reads everything, so that's good.
Pocket also integrates with Alexa, for those who have an Amazon echo.

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