The Next Chapter of Readwise: Our Own Reading App

Currently, our reading app (which we refer to as “Reader” for the time being) is a more powerful, more flexible version of the classic read-it-later app. If you’ve used Instapaper or Pocket, it’s like those except it’s built for 2021 and beyond. This means:

  • It’s made to handle modern and established content alike, from Twitter threads to PDFs, and everything in-between.
  • It serves both casual and power users, with the flexibility to accommodate a variety of consumer, professional, and academic use cases.
  • It’s designed with a local-first, cross-platform architecture enabling blazingly fast interactions and full-text search across all of your devices (even offline).
  • It connects seamlessly with all your other tools for thought such as Roam Research, Notion, Evernote, and Obsidian.
  • It embeds powerful workflows to help you conquer content overload — one of the most acute pain points of read-it-later power users.
  • It’s being actively developed with responsive customer support and rapid feedback loops informed by beta testers who are already reading in the app for hours a day.

There’s so much more to the reading app than this, but we didn’t want to bury the lede.

We’re now in position to reimagine aspects of the digital reading experience itself, from how you annotate a document, to how you navigate. Readwise as you know it today isn’t going anywhere, but this is our future.

If you’re ready to dive deeper, this post explains:

  • Why we’ve decided to build our own reading app;
  • What the reading app actually does; and,
  • How we’re going about product development.

As the expression goes, let’s start with why.