Instapaper v5.2 adds familiar yellow-marker highlights to your saved articles. This doesn’t sound like much, but it will change how you use the read-later service. Instapaper is the O.G read-it-later app, letting you save those longer articles you find on the web, in Twitter, in your RSS reader or anywhere else. You send these articles off to Instapaper via a bookmarklet (or using the third-party integration from many apps), whereupon they are cleaned of clutter and saved for you to read off line.
This seemingly small update changes the game. Before, Instapaper was a transient place for long-form articles — you’d read them and then archive them. Now it’s a place to organize and revisit articles, turning your collection of clippings into a library of annotated notes. And for the makers, it represents a way to make more money for the app, by finally adding a killer reasons for us to buy the $1-per-month subscription.
Ever since Digg purchased Instapaper from Marco Arment, the news aggregator super site has been adding new features to the somewhat neglected service to better compete with the likes of would-be challengers like Paper.
Continuing that trend, Instapaper for iOS was updated to version 5.1.5 today, bringing some new features, including support for Instapaper’s trending stories, a new send to Amazon Kindle function for subscribers, better AirPlay support, gestures and more.
Under its previous owner, Instapaper was a good-but-limited iOS app with a barely functional website component. Under its new ownership at Betaworks, the app has slowly become part of a great ecosystem, with the latest addition being a Safari extension.
Instapaper’s Instapaper Daily feature, which shows the day’s most popular new story for your quick-consuming delectation, was apparently so successful that it has spawned a sequel. Instapaper Weekly. This time it’s not a new website which shows you an ultra-clean view of the day’s top Instapaper story: it’s an email newsletter.
One of the best things about Instapaper now being owned by Betaworks is that the developers spend their time adding new features and services instead of complaining about things on their personal blogs.
And today that ethic has paid off, bringing us Instapaper Daily, a new site which shows the most popular story in Instapaper today. And of course, because Instapaper is all about reading later, you can browse back to any day in the past and see the headline story form that day, too.
Instapaper, the first service of its kind for saving articles to read later, has gone free in the App Store for the first time ever. It has been discounted before, but this is the first time it has gone completely free.
Why? Apple has named it “App of the Week,” an honor bestowed upon popular apps—you guessed it—once a week. It normally costs $4.
Instapaper was once the king of the read later services, but was usurped by fuller-featured upstarts with better features and more liberal sharing policies (Instapaper, unlike Pocket, has no IFTTT triggers for instance). But it is slowly pulling itself back into the future, and this latest iPad update adds support for video and a new Browse function.
Is this enough to pull me back to Instapaper from Pocket? Actually yes, but not for the reason you think.
Maybe I’m a big dummy, but I always thought that the whole point of “read later” apps was that you could shunt long-form articles off the desktop and onto a device that was better suited for reading for extended periods. After all, on the desktop a combination of bookmarks and Safari’s Reader view takes care of things.
But what do I know? Clearly there’s a place for reader apps on the Mac, and the $10 Words looks to be a very nice example.
iOS 7 is launching on Wednesday September 18th, and with it will come a whole slew of neat (and sometimes eye-searing) features. But what will there be for us poor bloggers and developers who have (maybe) been running the beta for so long now it doesn’t even seem new anymore? The answer is app updates. Lovely updates to some of our favorite apps to make them play nice with the new, clean OS. And the one of these will be Instapaper.