The new “Reader” feature in Safari 5

A few weeks ago I blogged about Readability, a tool which allows you isolate the content of a webpage and present it in a much more readable way. This, for me, has at least two major advantages, it can help improve the poor legibility/typography of many webpages and also helps focus you in on the content in a sea of millions of links, flashing ads and the likes, all trying to grab you away and click, click, click to somewhere else. Its a really great tool.

Yesterday Apple released the latest version of their web-browsing software, Safari 5 and they’ve built “Readability” type functionality directly into it, with a feature called “Reader“. When you are on an article or blogpost you can click a little button up in the address bar and immediately the content is plucked out and presented in a much clearer, focused way. It has minimal customization (as far as I can see) but allows you to increase/decrease text size. Its a really nice feature. I’m not a regular Safari user, but I’m giving it a go today to see how the latest version handles. So far, its pretty good, and things like the “Reader” feature are likely to keep me using. Readability has for the moment the edge with its customization options, but its nice to see browser makers addressing this need and building this directly into the browser.

Its becoming more and more prevalent this need to help users focus on the actual content they are looking for. As we open up more and more lines of communication and throw more and more at users its important that we can offer this content in a clear, straightforward manner.

Content is king!

See also: Readability’s creators on Safari 5