Evernote launches Clearly, a browser extension for naked news reading

In search of a distraction-free way to read the day’s web news? Evernote, the ubiquitous note-taking service, has released a Chrome browser extension called Clearly made with you in mind.

Evernote specializes in mobile and web applications for taking and saving notes, and has more than 16 million users. Clearly is Evernote’s first original product launch since it released Peek, the iPad 2 Smart Cover application.

With a single click of button, Clearly slides in and strips out everything extraneous — including ads, navigation and URLs — from the article you are reading, presenting you with just the text and images for a reading experience free of interference.

The clean, clutter-free view has been embraced by an increasing number of other products, including Apple’s Safari browser (with its Reader mode) and, earlier, by such browser tools as Readability and Instapaper. It’s even becoming a bit of a web design fashion, with sites like Pictory and even MSNBC minimizing extra design “furniture” like sidebars and widgets, leaving the text and photos to hold center stage surrounded by lots of white space.

Of course, because it’s an Evernote product, you can clip and save the naked version of articles to your Evernote account.

What may be even more enticing, for those of you who like long reads at least, is that Clearly also works on paginated web articles. A five-page marathon read, replete with URLs ready to interrupt your focus, becomes a single page article that (ideally) you’ll be more likely to finish.

So what’s the point here, and what makes this different than other apps out there? “Clearly is .. a ‘right now’ thing,” an Evernote spokesperson told VentureBeat. “It’s really about setting the right mood and environment for reading right now.”

This all sounds great for you and we writers certainly love our online reading, but publishers might not take too kindly to someone stripping out their URLs and interfering with their pageviews. Will media companies attempt to block the browser add-on? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Evernote Clearly is available for Chrome today. Versions for additional browsers are said to be coming soon.

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