Learn to boost the speed and quality of your reading [Deals]

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Reading is a skill, and this pair of courses will help you sharpen it, boosting reading speeds and retention while breaking bad habits.
Reading is a skill, and this pair of courses will help you sharpen it, boosting reading speeds and retention while breaking bad habits.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Reading is a skill, and like all skills, there’s always room for improvement. So if you constantly find yourself re-reading paragraphs, or just staring at a book but never finishing it, these courses can help you out.

Indiepaper, an open alternative to Instapaper and Pocket

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This book is definitely meant to be read later -- it's not even written yet.
This book is definitely meant to be read later -- it's not even written yet.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Instapaper and Pocket are the big two read-later services. The former locked out European users for months and months earlier this year, and the latter is, well, it’s fine I guess. Both of them do a great job of letting you save articles from the web and read them later in a clean, text-and-images-only format.

But what if you want something controlled just by you? A read-later service that doesn’t mine your saved articles to make recommendations — one that just turns your read-later list into nicely formatted, text-only articles. Then you should try Indiepaper. Let’s check it out right now.

Save pages you want to read for later straight to your iPhone and Mac [Deals]

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Save and share articles straight to any inbox, stripped of ads or other clutter.
Save and share articles straight to any inbox, stripped of ads or other clutter.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Being online means finding content that you’ll want to read later or share with friends. But depending on the device used, browser plugins, and other factors determine whether it’ll load correctly, or at all. Luckily there’s an easy way to make sure that never happens.

Save your reading list for later with Pocket [50 Essential iOS Apps #49]

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Pocket app article view
Pocket makes it easy to catch up on the articles in your reading list on your own schedule.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

50 Essential iOS Apps: PocketStaying informed and up-to-date with the latest news is tough. Scrolling through Twitter or browsing the web can often lead to news stories that you want to read, but can’t be bothered to read RIGHT NOW. With Pocket, you can save those stories for later and catch up on the stories you want to read on your schedule.

dotEPUB is the best way to save and annotate websites in iBooks

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dotEPUB turns web pages into fantastic-looking ebooks.
dotEPUB turns web pages into fantastic-looking ebooks.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

In my constant search for a way to save and annotate webpages like I used to do with Instapaper before it cut off access to Europe instead of complying with GDPR laws, I came across a great service called dotEPUB.

This quick-and-easy service lets you save and convert any webpage into an EPUB document. Then you can open the file in Apple’s Books app and mark it up just like any other ebook. Let’s take a look at how dotEPUB works.

How to replace Instapaper with Pinboard

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Instapaper punishes its European users use
Instapaper Premium unlocks awesome features.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Instapaper has shut down in Europe. Instead of complying with the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, which forces internet companies to stop hoarding your data, the read-later service has closed access for anyone trying to access their account from Europe. Clearly the two-years since the GDPR was announced wasn’t enough time to get ready.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that you can still download all your saved articles from Instapaper, and you can import them into am alternative. One option is Pocket, another read-later service, but that might leave you in a similar situation sometime in the future. Better to take care of business now, and move everything to Pinboard.

Mozilla buys Pocket in first ever acquisition

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pocket_dribble2
But don't worry; Pocket is going nowhere!
Photo: Pocket

Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox web browser, just snapped up Pocket in its first ever acquisition.

Pocket will remain an independent subsidiary and promises to continue delivering the service fans know and love. However, the Mozilla takeover will allow it to add “fuel to the rocketship” and build an even greater product.

Pocket now recommends stories you might have missed

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pocket-now-recommends-stories-you-might-have-missed-image-cultofandroidcomwp-contentuploads201508pocket-6-recommendations-jpg
The app update wants to fill your pocket with recommended stories and videos.
Photo: Pocket
pocket-6-recommendations
The app update wants to fill your pocket with recommended stories and videos. Photo: Pocket

Pocket updated its apps for Android and iOS to version 6.0, which now tailors to your interests. The release brings a new Recommendations tab that scans your activity in Pocket and, armed with that knowledge, presents you with new stories and other content you might find interesting.