Instapaper on iOS is a tremendously popular app, with the service having a large share of loyal users and its own set of fan following and die-hard supporters. In spite of alternative services like Read It Later and Readability being available on the App Store, Instapaper has continued to grow and Marco continues to improve the app — with the latest release bringing Retina images for the new iPad and six new beautiful fonts.
I can’t afford to invest months of development time into learning the platform and making an Android app, then supporting and maintaining it in parallel with my iOS app indefinitely, with so many other data points telling me that it almost certainly won’t be worth the investment.
Instead, Marco called out to developers who were interested in building a third party Instapaper client using the public API and offered to call it the official client if it met certain requirements.
It seems developer Ryan Bateman and designer Matt Legaspi (Dribbble Profile) has answered his call, with Papermill. Papermill is a new Instapaper client available for Android on Google Play (née Market) that brings enough elegance and aesthetics to set itself apart from the conventionally ugly Android apps. Papermill’s design is very simple and _suave_, and this makes using it very enjoyable and pleasing. Essentially, Papermill presents a simple list of your unread articles at the top view. You can swipe between Unread, Favorites or Archived articles. Tapping on an article takes you to the reading view, where you can read it without any disturbances — exactly what you’d expect from a ‘Read Later’ client.
Papermill uses a very beautiful dark grey + blue color scheme, making its elements stand out, in a good way. It uses a sans-serif for the list and article view, but I’m hoping more fonts are added in upcoming releases. I tested it on the Samsung Galaxy Note and was quite happy with its performance. Papermill is available for $3.99 on Google Play and requires a $1/month Instapaper subscription, since Marco doesn’t allow 3rd Party clients to use the Instapaper API.
Update: Added credits for Matt, the designer as well. Fabulous work here, Matt.