One of the least covered, yet in my mind, highly anticipated features of Apple’s up and coming revision to OSX (10.7), Reading List, is getting some much-deserved attention.

The new addition to Safari allows users to save online articles for later viewing has finally been unveiled in the latest Developer Preview of OS X Lion. One thing that caught us off guard though, is the early inclusion of iOS syncing.

This is accomplished by syncing your Safari bookmarks either through iTunes or MobileMe.  Once synced, a folder matching the bundle identifier for the Reading List app (com.Apple.ReadingList) appears among your device’s Bookmarks.  Inside this folder, your articles are listed, just like on the Mac. This folder — it should be stressed — is just a plain old bookmark folder at this point on iOS devices.

Obviously, these features will probably change some between now and Lion’s launch. At this point, the whole thing feels very beta, and lacks polish.

There has been a bit of chatter about Reading List taking on existing popular third-party apps.  For example, many people believe that Apple may be taking on Instapaper, but, as to date, it lacks any sign of the ability to cache your list for offline viewing. Reading List also doesn’t have a text parser, like Instapaper does.  This feature makes reading articles much more enjoyable, as it removed unneeded graphics like ads.

These missing feature has lead Instapaper’s creator Marco Arment to cite that Readability as a more accurate target and isn’t too worried about his own product.

With WWDC right around the corner, it’s likely we’ll see what a post-pubescent Reading List will look like.

If we had our druthers, it’d be great to see Apple continue to refine the concept, with the end result culminating as a stand-alone iOS app that can display the content online and offline in a uniform format similar to the Flipboard Experience.   For now though, we’ll have to settle for an extra bookmarks folder, or our old friend Instapaper.

Article via Electronista