iReader Preview Tool

Ireader4Richard has a nice preview of a tool that some of you will find useful – iReader.

This tool is a little like Snap (which I tried for less than 24 hours here on ProBlogger – but took down after many complaints) but instead of showing you a tiny screen capture of where a link on a website leads – iReader lets you preview it’s content in text and as a little list (and don’t we love a good list).

Here’s what it did when I hovered over one of my recent posts (not the most intuitive of selections from the post – but it’d give readers a sense of what it was about):

Picture 5-4

The difference with iReader and Snap is that iReader is a browser extension – so it’s something that readers determine whether they’ll use – whereas Snap is something you as the website owner install.

As a blogger I can see the usefulness of this type of tool. I’m constantly surfing and to be able to get a quick sense of what a link might offer me could be useful. I wouldn’t use it 24/7 while surfing – but when in research mode it could be useful to have activated.

Performance wise – it runs a little too slow for my liking – in the time that it takes for the popup to appear i could click through and almost load the site – but as Richard says, iReader is in beta and can only improve.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. runs on the Genesis Framework

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  1. Collis says:

    Interesting idea. I’m torn on the usefulness of the Snap tool, but one thing it has definitely done is get publicity for the search engine started by former and Overture founder Bill Gross. Whether he succeeds in overtaking Google remains to be seen.

    I’m curious to see what business model iReader have, they don’t appear to be charging and their site looks like it was put up yesterday… case in point go to the “” page and look at the page title – “Untitled Document”

    Well anyhow, it is beta time so good luck to them!!

  2. I have to give this a thumbs down. First off, as you said it runs slow. But in all honesty, shouldn’t you be able to judge the content of the link before you click it based on the context of the article/post it’s contained in? I dunno, I just don’t see the functionality in this.

  3. I’m glad it’s not something I have to disable, but rather something I have to install… Which I don’t plan to either.

    Companies like this know that people don’t want something that they never asked for on their browser like snap assumes that we like it.

  4. Dblogged says:

    This definitely is good in research mode. I just used it for one of my posts and it actually made things go a little quicker.

    Usually I just open all the links on a given page in a new tab, this prevents me from having to do that.

    Thanks Darren.

  5. alf says:

    Just thought I’d point out that you accidentally called it eReader at one point…

  6. Reggie says:

    I use the cooliris plug-in for Firefox. I only enable it on hover with the CTRL key pressed, and have switched it off completely for some websites. It is particularly useful with Google images, giving the full-size image only in a pop-up window.

  7. Marc says:

    Installed it for a while, but I’m not impressed. Previews of Dutch links are hardly readable (grammar not correct and English words as part of the Dutch sentences). With Cooliris I’m also in control as a user (browser add on as well), if you’re looking for a Snap alternative.

  8. I agree with Matt, actually I find it quite intrusive on sites that use the tool.

  9. Darren Rowse says:

    thanks alf – fixed

  10. Bes Zain says:

    This is an interesting browser extension. I also think it is better to allow readers to install their own extensions instead of adding extra features which affect their usual browsing habit directly without giving them any choice.

  11. kas says:

    deleted for spam

  12. Collis says:

    hmmm, i think that comment from “kas” is spam…

  13. Darren Rowse says:

    thanks collis – the occassional one slips through.

  14. jhay says:

    Another new tool that’s bound to loose interest again. Pop-ups are just not one of the good things in a site.


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