Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

App of the Week: Short

Screenshot of ShortGot a spare 5-10 minutes, and want to read something? Short is here to help.

You link Short to your existing Pocket, Instapaper, Readability or ReadingPack account, and it will present you with a list of articles that can be read in under 5 minutes, or under 10 minutes. Tap each one to read it, and when you’re done you can remove it from your reading list. That’s basically it.

That’s not necessarily a criticism as Short is designed to be simple. That being said, it does also include a dark mode, and the usual sharing features, so that you can share interesting articles on your social networks. Short supports multiple read-it-later services simultaneously, so if you have articles saved in both Pocket and ReadingPack (for example), then you’ll be able to see them both in one list. More accounts may be added in later releases, perhaps including Feedly.

Somewhat oddly, you have to sign in to Short with a Twitter account; this is done before you link your read it later service account. One advantage is that it keeps your account settings in sync between multiple devices, such as an iPad and an iPhone.

Screenshot of Short when your feed is emptyThere’s a couple of limitations. Firstly, there’s no embedded video, so if the article you’ve saved for later is a bit of text with a video, then it may show up in Short’s list. Short also won’t show you the tweet that the article was saved from, if applicable, unlike the official Pocket app.

I’ve been using Short for about a week and it’s great for when you’ve just got a few spare minutes. I tend to use Pocket like an inbox, and spent most of the weekend getting my reading list down from 100 unread articles to 0, so being able to clear out the shorter pieces more easily is great. Pocket’s official app has ‘Highlights’ which is supposed to categorise quick reads, but it hasn’t worked on my account for months.

Short is free, and is available from the App Store. It’s a universal app for both iPad and iPhone.

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