Instapaper 4.0 Update Has Simplified Interface and Lots More

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Marco Arment has released a major update to his popular reading app Instapaper, bumping it to version 4.0. Instapaper allows users to save articles for later offline reading and strips away the advertising and formatting to present article text in a clean and easily viewed format.

    Instapaper is a $4.99 universal app. Arment has extensive notes about the update on his site, but here are a few new features:


    Get the full change list from Marco's blog. Instapaper is a $4.99 universal app for iPhone and iPad on the App Store. [Direct Link]

    Article Link: Instapaper 4.0 Update Has Simplified Interface and Lots More
  2. BrownManUPS macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2007
    Makes me wish I still had an iPad. Cool concept.
  3. soundsgoodtome macrumors regular


    Jun 8, 2007
    Los Angeles
    I'm continually baffled by the number of mentions and articles about instapaper, when 'read it later' is a far superior product -- more features, better design, etc.

    I suspect it's because instapaper simply has a "catchier" name, which goes to show how important a name is. but when I compared the two before purchasing, there simply was no contest. 'read it later' won, hands down.

    (I'm not affiliated. I'm a customer who purchased 'read it later.')
  4. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    I have used both Instapaper and Read It Later. Read It Later leads in spec sheet war, such as ability to edit feeds, show unread articles on the badge, and multi-page article support. But overall, both the rendering and UI lack the maturity and polish that Instapaper has. Most of Instapaper features are carefully thought of, not just at attempt at increasing number of features.

    Overall, I equate the comparison to:

    iOS:Android = Instapaper:Read It Later
  5. accidental macrumors newbie

    Jun 3, 2011
    Nailed it.

    Marco understands Apple's quality of design. Not veneer or specs but how it works and how people think and use a product.

    The other thing that Instapaper has over competitors is that Marco has made it easy for other developers to integrate Instapaper support into their apps. And it's highly respected in the industry leading developers to consider Instapaper support as significant added value for their apps.
  6. rhett7660 macrumors G4


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    Great!!! Can't wait to get this update. By far one of my favorite apps on the iPad! Great to see he is still continueing to upgrade it even with Read It Later and the like.
  7. soundsgoodtome macrumors regular


    Jun 8, 2007
    Los Angeles
    huh? are we in the twilight zone? have you compared the design of the two apps?

    for me, design is utmost -- specifically apple-esque design -- and is equally as important as functionality. and it was specifically design where instapaper was lacking when i made my choice, about a year ago. instapaper was, frankly, ugly.

    in fact, i just took a look again at each app's screenshots for both the iphone and the iPad. and i'm sticking to my story. read it later's design is far more mature and refined, while instapaper is ugly.

    how anyone could say instapaper's design is more refined is incomprehensible. i suspect you may be connected with instapaper's developer in some way. i'm affiliated with neither. read it later is far more attractive.

    if we disagree, we disagree. but how you (or anyone) could look at both and possibly conclude that instapaper is better designed is fathomless.
  8. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    I've spent about an hour with the upgrade.

    Pluses (in the order of significance for me):
    • Draggable scroll bar. About time!
    • Improved social UI.
    • Grid based list on iPad.
    • Integrated hardware brightness control for both iPhone and iPad.
    • Footnotes.

    • Title-based search: Well, I've used this feature in the past and it's gone. It is now part of $12/year full content search subscription. I have only few dozen articles, so that is overkill for me. I understand Instapaper is heavily server side and $12/year goes long way to help Marco host the service and provide many more valuable updates for free. Still, I can't help but feel disappointed that title-based search is completely gone.
    • No multi-page article support. Marco wrote in the past regarding this omission. While his view has merits, it's a disappointing omission. Just show the banner ads if you must.
    • Social contents (friends, editors) not defaulting to "read later" view.


    As I mentioned earlier, I have both Instapaper and Read It Later Pro. UI is subjective, of course, but to me, Instapaper is far more fluid experience. And Instapaper's UI has progressed significantly over the years, especially for iPad. I wouldn't call Instapaper a beauty in truest sense, but it is a prime example of minimalist UI done well.
  9. CLWelch macrumors member

    May 12, 2011
    You're equating design to what something looks like.
  10. accidental macrumors newbie

    Jun 3, 2011
    Exactly. soundsgoodtome is confusing 'design' with 'visual style'.
  11. E3BK macrumors 68020


    Mar 15, 2008
    I haven't tried the new Instapaper but when I was choosing between the 2 a while back, Read It Later won me over quickly. The Digest view is wonderfully laid out. The new Twitter integration is flawless, it loads/syncs quickly, and it's easy on the eyes. The Dev has also been really responsive to questions.

    I know there are some new features coming and the new web layout (as opposed to reading on the device) is far far superior to Instapaper's. I read the list of features and some of those have been in RiL for a while already. But it all comes down to choices & preferences.

    I'm a fan of Read It Later.
  12. steadysignal macrumors 6502a


    Dec 21, 2010
    i am a proponent of Marco and his work -but this update is stifling.

    why is there no way to revert to a list?

    the "blocks" do nothing other than slow the reader down.

    time to try read it later...
  13. smotheredhope macrumors regular

    Jan 31, 2009
    I like that instapaper went social but there is no one in my twitter and Facebook and tumbler accts that use it I guess as it can't find any friends. I want Instapaper friends dammit. Lol


    I actially like the locks but Good luck with Read it Later. I've used both and Ill stuck with instapaper.

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