How to Add Readability Bookmark to Android

Readability is a great tool that allows users to convert an article on a cluttered webpage into a clean and easy to read format. It also allows for storing some articles for reading later when more time is available.

No wonder then that many Android phone users want to make use of this wonderful tool.  Unfortunately, while it is easy to add a Readability bookmarklet to a browser on a PC, it currently is not possible to do so in as straightforward a fashion on Android devices.

However, there is a pretty simple workaround that I'll explain below that will let you enjoy the power of Readability on your Android device.
First, either access an existing Readablity "Read Now" bookmarklet on your browser or install one from the add-ons page at Readabilty.com.  Once you have the bookmarklet, open its properties (probably most easily done by simply right-clicking on it) and copy the entire javascript code snippet that is in the location (a.k.a., URL) box.

The javascript should look like something like this:

javascript:(%28function%28%29%7Bwindow.baseUrl%3D%27http%3A//www.readability.com%27%3Bwindow.readabilityToken%3D%27%27%3Bvar%20s%3Ddocument.createElement%28%27script%27%29%3Bs.setAttribute%28%27type%27%2C%27text/javascript%27%29%3Bs.setAttribute%28%27charset%27%2C%27UTF-8%27%29%3Bs.setAttribute%28%27src%27%2CbaseUrl%2B%27/bookmarklet/read.js%27%29%3Bdocument.documentElement.appendChild%28s%29%3B%7D%29%28%29)

Now you just need to send this to your Android device in any number of ways.  Here are some possibilities:
  • Email
  • SMS (a.k.a., text message)
  • Google document
  • Blog article, Tweet, etc.
Whatever your means of transmission, open that on your Android device and select and copy the entire code string.  Then open your Android's default browser (e.g., the stock browser, Opera, Dolphin, etc.) and create a new bookmark.  In the location box of that new bookmark, paste the javascript snippet and then name and save the bookmark.

Then to test the new bookmarklet, go to a web article or blog and click on it to convert the page.  It should work (it did for me).  You now have the benefits of a Readability bookmarklet on your Android device's browser with just a little work.  A bonus to having the Readability bookmarklet on your device is that you can use it to convert and view the occasional webpage that doesn't display or scroll properly in your mobile browser.

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