The Read It Later app, Nate Weiner’s application that allows you to “save” Web pages for later reading has been updated and released for the iPad. Originally released for iPhone and iPod Touch, version 2.1 now supports iPads as well as iPhones and iPod Touch. You need to be running iOS 3.1 or later to use Read It Later. You first create a free account on the Read it Later Website, then use a special bookmark on your Web browser Toolbar to save Web pages for later browsing, on or offline, in any version of Read It Later, on any device that supports it. (On Firefox, the Read It Later installs an extension to the browser). That means you can mark pages for later reading not only on your computer, but on your iPad or phone, and they’re all synchronized. In Firefox, the Read It Later extension adds a small icon to the Address Bar (where you see the RSS icon, etc.); click it to save a page for later reading. In Safari, you click a bookmarklet in your Toolbar.
Read It Later can also extract plain text from Web pages, for easier reading (it saves two versions of every page you mark). You can organize your list of saved pages with tags, and sort them. You can choose to share pages in a number of fashions, via several Twitter clients for the iPad as well as variety of news readers have built-in support for Read It Later. There’s a simple tutorial here. If you use Google Reader in your Web browser, you’ll see a Read It Later button right next to the Google Star, for easily marking pages for later reading.
I note that the process of adding the bookmarklet to mark items to Read It Later for Safari on the iPad is a bit laborious—but that is a flaw in Safari, not Read It Later. Read It Later provides good step-by-step instructions for adding the bookmarklet; read the screen, and you’ll be fine. The Read It Later iPad application also has good built-in Help; be sure to read the Tips section. I note Weiner has included helpful Settings for downloading only when using on WiFi, or for text only.
The paid for version Read It Later Pro offers easier saving of pages to read later; you can “tap to save,” without having to first open the link/page. There’s also an embedded full-screen reader, among other features. The niftiest feature is the Digest feature; it sorts your saved pages, and presents them in an easily navigable list. There’s a shot of the Digest screen below.
ETA: Rich points out in a comment to this post that I did not make it clear that the Digest is an add-on feature. It is; it’s an in-app $5.00 purchase for either the free or the paid version of Read it Later. If you purchase the Digest for any version of Read it Later, it is available in all version of the app that you own. See this explanation.