Reading List gains offline reading in recent Mountain Lion builds

Safari Reading List is definitely a nice, simple alternative to third party apps like Instapaper, Readability, and Pocket for those who use Safari. Reading List allows you to save and sync links for later reading between both your Mac and iOS devices. It has been known that offline reading is coming soon to Safari on Mountain Lion, and it looks like that feature finally landed. Found by Gear Live today and a commenter on Control Your Mac 10 days ago, offline reading was enabled in recent builds of Mountain Lion. However, offline reading is sadly still not available on iOS devices; although, we would guess iOS offline support is coming at some point.

Offline reading is pretty self-explanatory. While connected, you can mark items to read in your Reading List. Once the Internet is disconnected, you can still load the article thanks to a bit of caching work done on Apple’s end. Apps like Instapaper, Readability, and Pocket have offered a similar feature for quite some time, so it is nice to see Apple finally utilize offline reading.

Earlier this week, Instapaper owner Macro Arment said (video queued below) his app has been pretty much left unfazed after the introduction of Reading List over a year ago, which points to the lack of offline reading to a possibility why Reading List may have not caught steam. Sadly, you can only use Reading List in Safari too, so Chrome users are left to find another option. This looks to be like a nice solution for the mainstreamers, however.