September 24, 2013

iOS ease-of-use? Ha!

For inexplicable (or, at least, unexplained) reasons, Apple doesn’t allow browser extensions on iOS (iPad and iPhone). Browser extensions are small apps that allow you to things such as save a link to a service such as Pocket.
Pocket, formerly Read It Later, allows you to save links for later reading. It also provides a cleaner version of the web page so that you can read it without ads and other cruft that accompanies most web content. I’ve been using Pocket/Read It Later for years and recommend it to anyone who uses the web a lot.
Installing the extension on all browsers on Windows and OSX is easy and fast. You get an icon on the browser toolbar.

On Windows, Mac, and Android, you can then save a link from your browser to Pocket. Clicking the icon saves the link to Pocket.
On Safari on iOS, however, here’s what you have to do to set up a bookmarklet so that you can save to Pocket. (For the record, Chrome on iOS doesn’t support extensions, either.)

How to Save to Pocket on iPad

For people new to or not adept with computing devices in general, this is onerous. For the record, Pocket isn’t the only one afflicted by this Apple limitation. Other apps such as Instapaper and Evernote have to provide the same gnarly work-arounds.

You can save links to a Reading List that is synchronized with Safari elsewhere, such as on your Mac. You cannot, however, get at your Reading List from other browsers, via iCloud, or on an Android device.
In a word, pfft.