Instapaper on the iPad. Words escape me.


[above screenshot in portrait mode]

If there’s one thing I’m certain of, it’s that Marco Arment doesn’t kid around when it comes to user interface. And I’m not just talking about pretty icons here. Right from day one, Arment has been extremely careful about what does or does not make its way into the user interface, and it has resulted in absolute perfection in his application.

The first version of Instapaper for the iPad was designed using a simulator, so he pretty much copied what he did on the iPhone, promising to get things just right after he had a device to test it on. And what a world of a difference that made. As soon as he got his hands on one, he quickly realised that a white background is a tad bit too bright, that the text is too wide, and tapping at the bottom for next page is not the right way.

Version 2.2.3 is mostly a user interface fix. The tab bar goes to the top, and blends in with the rest of the page, which now sports a light brown tan. Text layout is much tighter now (you can adjust it with the settings pop up). The settings pop up allows you to switch between light and dark modes, and even has a brightness control much like the iBooks app!

Needless to say, this is a great application, with a stupendous user interface, and great price—$4.99 for the universal version. If you have an iPad, and have learnt the art of reading, this is a must have app on your home screen.

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2 Responses

  1. Phil Hanson says:

    Can someone explain a situation Instapaper is good for, I just don’t get the use …

    Also is there a way I can be saved to this site or comments?

  2. Dan says:

    @Phil Hanson

    The purpose behind instapaper is twofold. Firstly, it means that you don’t have to be connected to the internet to read articles. You use the bookmarklet to send them to your instapaper account and then synchronise your iphone/ipod touch/ipad and can take them wherever you want, which is handy for people who have to travel/commute a lot.

    Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, it’s there to help people rediscover long fornat reading. Most web articles these days are short, succinct bites that are easily digestible in a couple of minutes. Compare this to physical magazines where articles often run into thousands of words and go into a lot more depth. Obviously people can’t really read these during their working day so you sync the article up with your account and then read it later on in the day when you have the time. Personally I mark up things and then read them on my ipod touch before I go to bed, a routine I hope to continue on the ipad when it’s finally released in the UK!

    It is one of those things that can be seen as pointless to a degree if you don’t use it. But give the free version a try and you’ll be surprised at how much good writing you’re missing out on because you don’t feel you have the time to read much of the stuff out there.

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