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Clearly showcases the main text of a webpage
December 3, 2011 1:04 PM   Subscribe

Evernote releases a new browser extension, Clearly, which elegantly presents a webpage's main article, shorn of all distracting adornments. It is currently Chrome-only, but will soon come to other browsers.
posted by shivohum (34 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
Clearly a rip-off of Readability.
posted by babby╩╝); Drop table users; -- at 1:06 PM on December 3, 2011 [13 favorites]


Yeah, see also Readability and Instapaper's text view. Evernote's kind of behind the times as far as that use case, and I think in a lot of ways Instapaper figured out a better, more capturable, more straightforward solution for what some people were hacking Evernote to be.
posted by tmcw at 1:09 PM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does anyone know how this compares to Safari's built-in 'Reader' mode?
posted by anaximander at 1:10 PM on December 3, 2011


You would think that they would have the good sense to not name something with an adverb.
posted by clearly at 1:13 PM on December 3, 2011 [12 favorites]


Their mother said that to them once.

Once.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 1:23 PM on December 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Does anyone else find it somewhat hilarious that they're imitating an Apple feature a feature recently internalized into Safari from Readability and advertising it with a Luxo Lamp? Oh wait, that's totally different because it's green! ;)
posted by trackofalljades at 1:31 PM on December 3, 2011


I'm not sure if this is really revolutionary, but I do most of my note-taking with Evernote so it's probably going to be massively helpful to me.
posted by anotherpanacea at 1:33 PM on December 3, 2011


You guys are being silly. The selling point is that you can clip that super-readable view to Evernote and have it tagged and filed away forever, not that it looks nice like Readability.

As a very dedicated Evernote user, thanks for the post!
posted by dialetheia at 1:34 PM on December 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


I like Readability. I like Instapaper. I like Evernote as well. Yay for decent and usable (and mostly free) web services.

The hating and bitching is unnecessary.
posted by blucevalo at 1:38 PM on December 3, 2011 [15 favorites]


Sometimes I worry about how much of my memory I have offloaded to Evernote. But then I forget to log that thought in Evernote and it ceases to worry me.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:46 PM on December 3, 2011 [16 favorites]


As much as I like Instapaper each major version seems slower and less responsive than the previous one, especially on an original iPad. Readability has a an iOS app coming out soon that may be yet another contender in this space.
posted by ridogi at 1:57 PM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


What really bothers me here is that web design become so cluttered, our themes so horrible, that we now need special apps to read content. There shouldn't be so much noise on modern webpages.
posted by sbutler at 2:35 PM on December 3, 2011 [26 favorites]


Works for me. And I don't use endnote.
posted by stonepharisee at 2:57 PM on December 3, 2011


I use Readability to rid a page (that I post) of ads ..problem: any links on page do not carry over. Seems too that sites amake money from ads and these add ons defeat the ads-. Willthe time come when the ad people find a way to strike back?
posted by Postroad at 3:41 PM on December 3, 2011


I've been reading pages with cleanpages for Opera ever since it came out. (Also based on readability) Evernote is clearly on the cutting edge.
posted by CarlRossi at 3:53 PM on December 3, 2011


boring. i use safari's reader mode all the time now. obviously it must depend on the browser/service you rely on, but just to put it out there, i use: safari reader on my browser (safari is still the fastest for me on average, sorry kids), evernote web clipper (browser independent), and reeder for RSS (iPad, iPhone, mac)
posted by buffalo at 4:08 PM on December 3, 2011


Is Readability or Clearly open source? Can you read exactly the javascript being executed in the Browser?
posted by jeffburdges at 4:23 PM on December 3, 2011


Not revolutionary, but part of the well established best practice of making web content easy to offload for various uses (offload a clean page to an email contact, offload a clean page to your kindle, etc.) Smart move by Evernote and good news for Evernote users, current and prospective.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 4:32 PM on December 3, 2011


I just tried it out, and it appears to be faster than the Readability Chrome extension. *shrug* More tools like this can't hurt.
posted by Wemmick at 4:37 PM on December 3, 2011


Evernote has become my external brain. Clearly is a great addition to the Evernote product even if it's not revolutionary.

If you have something which has similar functionality, then fabulous. No need to hate.
posted by 26.2 at 4:48 PM on December 3, 2011


The hating and bitching is unnecessary.

If you have something which has similar functionality, then fabulous. No need to hate

This isn't hate.

1. As many have already stated, this capability has been around for some time now. I know this will remain on mefi, but it really shouldn't. There's nothing noteworthy about your favorite app now including something other apps have done for a while.

2. I know many people swear by it, but I'm sorry, Evernote sucks. It always has. I used, and paid for it for a year, and a bug that was easily repeatable and basic was never fixed. I'm guessing it's still there.

This feature addition is just another data point that shows Evernote does almost everything, yet nothing well. It's the wall mart of applications, only uglier. If you want to use one app for everything, Evernote fits the bill, but you're living in a slum.
posted by justgary at 4:56 PM on December 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


Postroad: "Seems too that sites make money from ads and these add ons defeat the ads ..."
Yah, this is a feature, not a bug. If sites would never have gotten into all those horrifically offensive blinking, flashing, pop-up-ing, in your face ads, there wouldn't ever have been a market for people to find ways to defeat them.

"Will the time come when the ad people find a way to strike back?"
I can absolutely guarantee you that there are many, many people devoted to doing this even as I type these words. Rare rare rare is the site that offers a way to pay to not be exposed to their vile garbage; they don't want to offer anyone a choice.

I want to marry the developers of NoScript and AdBlock Plus...

posted by dancestoblue at 5:32 PM on December 3, 2011


If you want to use one app for everything, Evernote fits the bill, but you're living in a slum.

What do you use instead? I just started using Evernote for my longer work emails, since it makes everything easier to find than my croaking Lotus Notes does.
posted by sweetkid at 5:37 PM on December 3, 2011


isEvernote has had their web-clipper plugin for something like 3 years now that let's you save webpages into the Evernote store for free, so it's not like this is entirely new ground for them - making websites more legible (concatenation of multipage articles, for example) before import is a logical step, even if it terrain already covered by other services.

I have looked at readability and instapaper before, but they're both ios only for their app; not sure if the readability html5 offline thingy works in android or not for free, or if you still need a premium sub.

I know many people swear by it, but I'm sorry, Evernote sucks.
Fair enough. I happen to swear by it, and use it all the time - often for clipping bits of guides together when I'm working on deploying a new project. Meeting notes, reference notes on how I did something; it all goes in there, and is easily searchable, and the android application is frankly goddamn awesome.

This feature addition is just another data point that shows Evernote does almost everything, yet nothing well.
Now, this, I don't get. It does one thing - storing notebooks of info, synced between multi-platforms very well. I've not come across anything else on android that even comes close to it for 'just working'. I'm sure there's some awesome ios or osx specific applications for that; but I use android and windows and osx, and Evernote just does the job.

I do have a premium sub for Evernote, mainly for the offline notebook sync - out here in rural England, 3G is hard to come by, and while it's usable over 2G for free live access, offline storage is handy.

Now I'm in temporary accommodation while my house is repaired, I'm stuck on 2G trying to read metafilter etc, and it is painful.

Being able to cleanly and simply dump long articles from work into Evernote cleanly, and read them offline later either via my phone or laptop is actually going to be really handy, and will definitely be testing it out next week from the office. Hell, I might even use it on my coffee and ciggy break.

So for me, being one of the large number of smartphone buyers who don't have an iphone, finding out an app I already use has got a major feature upgrade is actually pretty handy, and I'm grateful for it being here.
posted by ArkhanJG at 5:41 PM on December 3, 2011


"Will the time come when the ad people find a way to strike back?"
I can absolutely guarantee you that there are many, many people devoted to doing this even as I type these words. Rare rare rare is the site that offers a way to pay to not be exposed to their vile garbage; they don't want to offer anyone a choice.

I've noticed with Safari Reader that a few sites are doing something to obfuscate the app from figuring out the body text of an article and/or are doing other tricks so multipage articles aren't as easy to automagically combine as they used to.

I know they need the revenue but some sites are just too hard to read if you don't use AdBlock, Reader/Readability/Clearly/etc. Gruber linked to a great look at how some sites are just going nuts. Just because I have the hardware and connection to load a 6mb homepage doesn't mean I want to.
posted by birdherder at 6:45 PM on December 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


It must be a terrible company to have to rely upon message board shills to advise people of a new (if, borrowed) element to their software. Aren't Evernote users advised of this change when they launch the product?

I love my readability button.
posted by peacay at 6:56 PM on December 3, 2011


I've tried Evernote twice. Both times I quickly retreated to Simplenote.

Maybe I'm just stupid, but I was never able to get Evernote to save web pages accurately. I'd rather send the URL to Google Bookmarks with Shareaholic, open it in Chrome later, and then save the page to Dropbox.
posted by Trurl at 7:11 PM on December 3, 2011


As far as I can tell, Readability and Instapaper cannot take an article that is multi-page and display all the pages without the user first saving the article in print view. This app took an article from a Village Voice Media website, and showed me all the pages in an easy, readable format without me having to first load the print format of the article.

For the above reason, this extension is superior to Readability and Instapaper. If I'm missing something, please correct me.
posted by reenum at 8:38 PM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seems too that sites amake money from ads and these add ons defeat the ads-.

I didn't know until following the link from here that Readability pays publishers out of premium membership fees. I use Safari but almost never use the Reader -- blocking Flash is enough -- but I might sign up just for that. As long as content is funded by ad revenue, they're going to look for more intrusive ways to get the ads in front of you.
posted by bjrubble at 10:30 PM on December 3, 2011


Now if only Springpad will do this.
posted by gryftir at 3:16 AM on December 4, 2011


justgary writes "As many have already stated, this capability has been around for some time now. I know this will remain on mefi, but it really shouldn't. There's nothing noteworthy about your favorite app now including something other apps have done for a while."

Metafilter is neither wikipedia nor a news site; noteworthiness isn't a requirement.

I am a little amazed people haven't been proclaiming the availability of an unprofessional grey back ground for this product; that's a winner right there.
posted by Mitheral at 12:52 PM on December 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've been using this for a couple of days now (in Chrome) and it's even more fantastic than I expected. It significantly cuts down on the time it takes to clip to Evernote, the formatting that comes through is perfect, the dark background is amazingly easy on my eyes, and I can select specific sections to reformat and clip. I use Evernote's online syncing, and it seems like this will really cut down on the amount of cruft that I end up syncing & storing when I clip web pages. It is fast, not buggy, and does exactly what I want it to do. It's a huge improvement over the regular Evernote web clipper extension.

I am sort of curious what specific criticisms people have of Evernote; I had trouble with some of the older versions but this iteration does exactly what I need with almost no effort or trouble. I've tried other systems, and they're always too complicated and require too much energy for each capture (like entering a bunch of tags every time, or reformatting, or manually syncing). I need a system with a very low effort threshold per capture, or else I just burn out on using it after a month or two. I wouldn't be surprised if there were better options for Mac, though.
posted by dialetheia at 11:32 PM on December 4, 2011


Metafilter is neither wikipedia nor a news site; noteworthiness isn't a requirement.
posted by Mitheral


Sure, there's no list of requirements, but I'm comfortable believing being noteworthy would be up there if we had one. I mean, if worthy of notice isn't a good definition of the majority of links on metafilter, I'd love to hear what is. A list of the mundane? Again, an application added a feature that has been around for a while. That's why there are 32 comments (and no, comment count doesn't = quality link, except when it does, like now...).

I am sort of curious what specific criticisms people have of Evernote

1. It's really, really ugly.

2. Getting anything out of evernote has never been intuitive and always been awful. They've improved some lately because of complaints, but it's still not up to other similar apps where everything is drag and drop both ways.

3. It's buggy. Again, maybe in the last year they've squashed most of them. But for the time I was using them repeatable bugs that were brought up constantly were never fixed.

4. Yes, I'm a mac user, and there are several apps that are superior to evernote.

The one thing evernote does get right, and the only reason it competes so well, is capture from everywhere and anywhere, on any platform, and if that's feature number one for a user, it's hard to beat. If that's whats most important to you, then evernote might be the right choice.

But I honestly believe that evernote is so popular because a large portion of users have used nothing else, and when a question regarding this type app comes up, those same users, that have only used evernote, push it hard.

Users also love to have one app that does it all. There are wonderful apps that do bookmarking, but users will use evernote even though it sucks at it, because it's the app that does everything. Why use a bookmarking service/app when i can just shove them into evernote?

Look, choosing software is a personal choice. If someone loves evernote, great. I'm just pointing out that there's plenty of reasons to not love evernote beyond hate.
posted by justgary at 9:27 AM on December 5, 2011


Wow.

That's some pretty smug judgement of Evernote users.
posted by 26.2 at 9:46 AM on December 5, 2011


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