A large part of content I consume these days is through Flipboard. I like how I am able to read through the articles with minimum noise around the content itself (menus, ads, widgets, etc.). The remaining content comes from various blogs and sites. I have always wished there was a way to consume this content without any distractions. There are apps available for tablets and phones. But sometimes using these apps is restrictive compared to the free flowing nature of a browser (even more so when on a PC).
Internet Explorer 11 has something of a solution (it is good, but not perfect). I call it the flipboard mode – but Microsoft calls it (I think) the ‘reading mode’. It only works in IE11 Metro/Modern mode, though.
That however is no longer a problem due to how Metro/Modern apps are now integrated in the desktop view. And I believe, this feature is also available on IE11 for Windows Phone 8.1 onward. Let’s talk about the feature.
Whenever you are on an article on a blog or a website, and IE11 thinks that it can show this in the reading mode, the address bar of the browser starts showing a little button labeled “Read”. Here you can see it below:
Clicking this button immediately reloads the content on that page, minus the menus, header, ads, etc. The layout adjusts well to the size of the Internet Explorer window (full-screen, snapped, etc.). Making it easier to read the content. Below are before-after screenshots of an article this blog, and of an article on wired.com.
Without reading mode (blog.gadodia.net)
With reading mode (blog.gadodia.net)
Without reading mode (wired.com)
With reading mode (wired.com)
As you can see, the difference is immense. I love this feature. But as things go, nothing in life is perfect. This feature does have its problems – on some sites, or articles, it messes up the pictures embedded in the article (either showing them in the wrong place, or not showing them at all). So, it is not good for reading picture heavy articles.
Thanks to this, I am often switching from Chrome to IE11 to read long articles.