View­ing Read­ing List ar­ti­cles off­line

Mac|Life - - TECH SUPPORT & TECHSPLANATIONS -

I have set Safari on my iPad to save web pages for off­line view­ing, but I al­most al­ways can’t view Read­ling List ar­ti­cles when not con­nected to Wi-Fi. Is this a bug? Yes, and it has been al­le­vi­ated — though not en­tirely fixed — since iOS 11.2.5. You can help Safari cope bet­ter by man­u­ally sav­ing pages to its Read­ing List, rather than re­ly­ing on it do­ing so au­to­mat­i­cally. In Set­tings > Safari, turn off Au­to­mat­i­cally Save Off­line. Af­ter do­ing that, when you want to make sure a page is avail­able for off­line view­ing, first save it to Read­ing List, then open the list, swipe left on that item and then tap Save Off­line.

When Safari makes a page avail­able for off­line read­ing, it saves the page and linked con­tent to a cache. The tricky de­ci­sion for any ser­vice of this na­ture is how deep to fol­low those links. Cur­rently, browsers for iOS go shal­low, and at best will only save that page and its linked con­tent, such as its style sheet and im­ages.

Fire­fox’s sim­i­lar fea­ture doesn’t ap­pear to cache any con­tent at present, and so fails to load pages from its read­ing list when the iOS de­vice is in Air­plane mode.

Some of the more spe­cial­ist apps, such as Off­line Pages ( codi­um­labs. com/ios/off­line-pages/), in­clud­ing its pro ver­sion, do rather bet­ter than Safari, but they still don’t go any fur­ther than one link deep.

If you want more re­li­able off­line read­ing, you’d be bet­ter off us­ing Off­line Pages, or up­dat­ing iOS and adding im­por­tant pages man­u­ally to Safari’s Read­ing List. Even then, you’ll trip over its lim­i­ta­tions at times.

Although Off­line Pages caches con­tent linked di­rectly to a page, it doesn’t go any deeper, and can still fail to load.

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