Whenever I come across a long article, its title, introductory paragraph and some highlighted snippet are three things that help me decide whether or not I’m going to it all the way through, even past the second paragraph. If someone who I know to have good taste in reading recommends something, I’ll give it a read too, but these three factors still decide if it’s worth reading all the way. dotdotdot Reader is an iOS app for the web service of the same name that lets you read articles others have recommended, highlighting the parts of an article they found particularly interesting. Apart from being a great reading tool with its own built-in web browser, that app also lets you manage your eBooks and works independently of other services. The app is quite good as a reader too; it strips away all unnecessary content, leaving behind only the text in an easy-to-read layout.
To use dotdotdot Reader, you must first create an account. You can sign up for one using your email address, or use your Twitter or Facebook account for the purpose.
Once you’ve signed up, you can start following other users or invite friends of your own. If you connect your Twitter account with dotdotdot Reader, you will be able to read your Twitter feed from the app, open any links in a tweet, and save an article. All saved articles are called ‘Texts’ and may be private or public. A private text hides the parts you’ve highlighted from others. The app is spread across three pages: the ‘Dashboard’ where you can read your own as well as the global timeline, the ‘Library’ where you can access all saved texts, and the ‘Memory’ section that allows you to search your saved texts by tags.
To save an article to your texts, either open it from your Timeline, or paste the link from your clipboard in the app’s built-in web browser. With the article open, you will be given the option to ‘Import’ it. When you’re importing an article, you can set its privacy as well as edit its title and author name.
When reading a text, tap anywhere to make selection markers appear, and then drag them to select the part you want to highlight. You can add tags, recommend the article that you’re reading, and also add your comment to it.
To invite friends or find people to follow, tap the ‘Find Friends’ tab at the bottom left of your Dashboard. Tap the profile icon at the top left of the dashboard to edit your profile. The app’s settings allow to change your password, edit your bio, manage your notifications, and connect your Facebook account to dotdotdot Reader. To download ebooks, go to the ‘Library’ page and select ‘Download eBooks’ from the navigation drawer to view supported ebook sources, and select a book to download from them.
Apart from its many features, what’s noteworthy about dotdotdot Reader is how much the app emphasises on ease of reading throughout its design. Not only is it easy to read the text, but so it is to navigate the app. You see large buttons that are uncommon in iOS apps, but these are well designed to let users switch between the pages and use the different features of the app very easily.