Instapaper just got yet another update (developer Marco Arment seems to be on roll these last couple of months) and it brings a very neat new feature – when you arrive at any chosen location, Instapaper will automatically update your articles in the background. This should mean that never again will you be without your latest saved articles when you rush of to catch a bus.
It works using the same geofencing tech that lets apps like OmniFocus pop up a reminder when you get to a certain place. You can add up to ten locations and whenever you arrive in any of them, Instapaper will grab any saved articles. Marco says that he has seen no noticeable affect on battery life, which is the same as I have seen letting background location services run all the time.
And how do you know if you have any new articles? The app gets a little red numbered badge on its icon.
This clever tweak pretty much means that background downloading is no longer needed (although I suppose that technically this is background downloading). I wonder if this will find itself into other content-downloading apps like podcatchers. I’d love to have all my podcasts update themselves without me having to do anything.
As ever, this update is free to existing users, and available in the App Store right now.