Words 2: A Brand New Take on Reading Later

If you love reading online articles, but don’t usually have time to read them in full when you’re using your browser, then you’re like a heavy user of a reading later service. There’s three popular web apps to help you save articles to read anytime: Pocket, Readability, and Instapaper. While all these services have native apps for your iPhone and more, only Pocket has a native Mac app (one that used to be the best Instapaper app for the Mac).

So what’s an Instapaper or Readability user to do, if they want to read their articles on the Mac? There’s two new apps that are great options: ReadKit and Words App. We’d looked at Words before, but found its interface rather lacking for a full reading app. Their dev team went back to the drawing board, though, and their newly released Words 2 is easily one of the nicest ways to read longform articles on your Mac. If you didn’t try it out the first time around, you should definitely take a look at Words 2.

Here’s why.

It Starts With the Services

All your reading accounts, together

No reading app would be complete without reading services to sync with, and Words App has left no service out. You can add your Instapaper, Readability, or Pocket account to Words App, and then read articles from all of the services together. Pocket has its own app, so odds are Instapaper and Readability users will be most interested in this app, but it’s still a nice option for Pocket since it has more options and features than the official app.

There’s not much more to the settings, other than an option to manage and add folders. This is rather nice to have, since the folders do sync with Instapaper, and that gives you a simple way to keep your reading queue manageable from the app.

With that, you’re ready to start reading in Words 2’s familiar yet unique 3-column interface.  Your article will start syncing almost instantly, and you’ll see all of your articles from all connected services just as if they were from the same account. Your inbox will show the number of unread articles as well as the total number of articles in your account, and unread articles will have a lighter background in your reading list.

When you click on an article, Words 2 will mark it as read, and Instapaper will pick up on this setting, opening the article scrolled to the very end after you’ve read any of it in Words. That makes me hopeful it’ll be able to sync reading position in the future, but for now it’s a bit annoying.

A new take on reading on the Mac, with responsive text

Reading your articles in Words 2 is a very nice experience. The app includes 5 reading themes, with various font and spacing choices (oddly, including one with Comic Sans; don’t worry, the rest of the choices are nice. There’s a light and dark mode, as well as an optional multi-column reading mode. That’s very nice if you want the newspaper feel, though for the most part, I stuck with the traditional single column article view while testing Words 2. There’s also one other interesting feature: Words 2 doesn’t include font size settings, but instead uses responsive type to resize the font as you resize your window, much as in iA Writer. The effect is nice, though I did wish I could bump up the font size a bit more.

Read the way you prefer

There is one thing missing from Words 2 that was in the original Words App: a auto-generated list of keywords found in your articles, which was a unique way to look through your reading list. Though, with the new search tool, along with the radically new and improved UI, that’ll likely not be missed.

A Few Things to Note

You might have noticed that Words 2 includes very few buttons in its interface, beyond those for changing the reading mode and style. That’s because almost everything relating to your articles is handled with keyboard shortcuts. Tap A to archive an article, U to mark it as unread, F to mark it as one of your favorite articles, and so on. You can even tap your delete key to delete an article. It’s simple, just rather unexpected at first.

It’s all about the shortcuts

If keyboard shortcuts aren’t your thing, though, don’t despair. Words 2 also lets you drag-and-drop articles into folders or the archive, which gives you an easy way to move articles around. It also gives you a simple way to clear out your inbox of articles you’ve already read by dragging them directly to the archive when you’ve finished them.

Drag-and-drop articles where you want


It’s almost impossible to compare Words 1 to Words 2; they’re that much different. Words 1 was the minimum you could ask from a reading app, one that was too feature-less for most of our tastes. It’d have worked if you were desperate to read Instapaper articles offline, but was far from a replacement for the Read Later app we’d just lost.

Words 2, on the other hand, is a testament to the fact that apps can do similar functions and still be unique. Its layout isn’t so much unlike every other reading app (or email app, or social networking app), but every part of the app has been custom designed to make it unique. That has its faults, including somewhat odd behavior in places that only makes sense if you’re used to it, but overall, it gives Words a uniqueness most other reading apps don’t have. Combine that with robust support for the three main reading services, and it’s a great app for reading articles on your Mac.

Words App still isn’t perfect, but it really is a nice, unique app. It’s incredible how much they’ve changed the app so far, and we can’t wait to see how the developers continue to improve Words App. For now, it offers one of the nicest reading later experiences on the Mac, one you should be sure to try out if you haven’t found the perfect reading app for your Mac yet.

… and a Giveaway!

We’ve just closed our giveaway, and congrats to our winners: The_Toaster, Christopher, Dan, JB, Lapo, Decio, KP, Marcel, Ruslan, and Simon!

But that’s not all. We’ve also got 10 copies of Words App to giveaway again! Just leave a comment below letting us know what reading service you’re using, and we’ll enter you in the giveaway. You can also share the giveaway on Twitter, Facebook, or App.net, and leave a link to your post in a separate comment for an extra entry in the giveaway. We’ll close the giveaway on Friday, March 15th, so hurry and get your entries in!

Also, if you won a copy of Words in our last giveaway, feel free to comment as well, and please let us know what you think of the new version of Words!

As usual, Envato staff or people who have written more than two articles or tutorials for AppStorm are ineligible to enter.


A remade reading app for Instapaper, Readability, and Pocket for your Mac, Words 2 packs a unique interface and responsive text for a nice offline reading experience.



Add Yours
  • Hi,

    I’m using Pocket and would be thrilled to test this awesome looking app :)

  • I am using Pocket as well. :)

  • I used to use readability before, but now using Pocket exclusively with evernote! Would like this app a lot! thanks.

  • I am using Readability and Pocket

  • I’m using Readability in Web mode and at my phone. This app is great and I would like to use it on my Mac

  • I’m using instapaper!

  • I use Pocket and Pinboard.

  • I’m using Pocket and Instapaper.

  • I use Pocket. Mainly because of their app for OS X.

  • I’ll be using this with Later & Readability :P

  • I use Pocket but I find it lacking. This might be much better though :)

  • Using Pocket.

  • I’m using Pocket, but looking for a good way to read on my Mac.

  • I’m using Instapaper and would love to read my articles on my Mac.

  • Using Readability and Pocket here.

  • I’m using Instapaper and it’s great!

  • I use Readability.

  • Hi,
    I use instapaper and readability sometimes…

  • I use Reeder on my mac., however I also use Pocket and Readability depending on what device I’m using at the time.

  • I’m using Pocket on Mac.

  • I use Pocket.

  • I use Instapaper + Pocket and I’ve used Readibility too… Simply I keep searching what is the best solution

  • i use Pocket

  • I’m using Pocket and Readability. Both great services, however I like Readability a little bit better although Pocket is more supported. Would love to have my Readability reading list on my Mac.

  • I am using Pinboard and Instapaper for Read Later

  • I had used “POCKET” a long time. Now Im using “READABILITY” for text and articals and “KIPPT” for the other stuff.

  • I use Readability.

  • I use Instapaper

  • Currently using Pocket but Words 2 looks quite appealing.

  • I am using Pocket and Readability.

  • I’m using Pocket as well and this reader looks awesome.

  • I use pocket but would love to use this. Hope to win one.

  • Pocket

  • Pocket here, too. Would be nice to win this nice peace of software.

  • I’m currently not using any reading service, but would love to try this out!

  • I’m using Pocket and Instapaper.

  • Using Pocket, and would be great to have an awesome reader to accompany it!

  • I have depended on Instapaper for years to keep me reading. This app sounds great!

  • i wonder why every article ends with a »9/10«-rating?

    • Actually, every article doesn’t; many get lower ratings, and amazing apps get 10s. We just published one with a 6/10.

  • I’m using Pocket.

  • Would love to try I use Pocket

  • Using Pocket at the moment, Readkit is nice in that you can change reading views but it falls down on sharing.

  • Using Pocket mainly, but love Instapaper also. I’d love to try this app.

  • Instapaper

  • Using Instapaper and would love to have a desktop app and be able to test out the other service offerings.

  • I use Readability and would love a way to do offline reading on my MBP. Shared the article on twitter over at https://twitter.com/buffaloseven/status/311485013294198784

  • I’m using Pocket, mainly due to it’s native MacApp. Would love to give Words a shot!

  • I’m using Pocket but I don’t like the interface. Looks like a mobile App, but larger

  • I use Pocket but I also have an Instapaper and Readability account as well.

  • I use Pocket :)

  • i still didn’t find a good way to do it. i’ve been using evernote, but would love to get a hand at Words 2, seems the best for reading later.

  • I’m using Instapaper, and i’d love to have an app to use it offline.

  • Using Readability and some times Pocket.

  • Pocket!

  • I have been using reeder lately

  • I use Instapaper! And I would love a nice reading app for my MacBook.

  • I use Instapaper.

  • Using both Instapaper and Pocket but myself gravitating towards Pocket lately.

  • I’m using Pocket.

  • I use Readability and their iOS app on my iPad, and would love to give this a try on my Macbook!

  • I would love a copy of this. I use Pocket and Readability interchangeably.

  • I am using Pocket, but I would like to try out Instapaper as well.

  • I’m using pocket….it’s horrible.

  • Pocket

  • Hello, I´m a Readability user, this app seems to be the perfect Mac companion for it! Good luck to all.

  • Instapaper & Pinboard !

  • I currently use Instapaper and Pocket. This new version of Words looks fantastic and I would love to have a copy of it!

  • I’m using “Reader”

  • Instapaper. :)

  • I’m using Instapaper and Readability.
    At the moment I’m using ReadKit but I’m open for other reader apps, because it’s a little buggy :)

  • I currently use Pocket and Readability.

  • I use both Instapaper and Pocket, although Pocket is my current preferred. I also use diigo for the comment service, and Clearly by Evernote, for the saving and highlighting service, although these two are not strictly ‘read later’ apps.

  • I also use Pocket, on both my MacBook and my iPhone.

  • I use Instapaper.

  • I use both Pocket and Instapaper. I have found that I like Instapaper better for long articles and Pocket for misc and video links. Also, Pocket exports to Evernote a little better by including the original article link.

  • I’m using pocket and would like to try the app!

  • I use (my) Pockets for loose change, occasional lint and small blocks of Swedish ‘Präst’ cheese. Oh, and today I turn 40 (true!).

  • Pocket is my favorite, and readability is nice too.

  • I currently use Pocket, and would love to use Words. Good luck everyone. :-)

  • I use Pocket to keep track of articles to give my students. It is astounding how useful the layout of a Pocket’ed article is for printing and distraction free reading.

  • I use Pocket, too. I have their desktop app, but I’m very interested in this other one, that integrates with other services.

  • Love Readability!

  • Using pocket :D

  • I am using Pocket and want to test out this app.

  • I use Pocket and Instapaper.

  • I’m using Readability and Pocket.

  • I am using pocket.

  • Use Instapaper to save articles for reading, and Pocket for saving useful resources to process later, as well as videos sometimes.

  • I’m using Readability to save articles, and Pocket to read them. I’d very much like this neat App.

  • Use both Pocket and Readability (sometimes). Currently use ReadKit on Mac, but whoa, this is gorgeous :o !! I want!

  • soo nice, thanks a lot. got really lucky on this one. dying to try it and i’ll leave my opinion.