Posts tagged with "instapaper"

Instapaper Launches Instaparser API

The Instapaper team, writing on the company blog:

Since the launch of our new parser in January, we’ve gotten lots of inquiries from developers about using our parser for third-party applications. With the new Instaparser API, app developers can use our parsing tools to provide users with a lightning-fast browsing experience optimized for mobile devices. Data scientists can use the tools to normalize input for text analysis. And hackers can do, well, whatever hackers might like to do with lightning-fast access to clean, standardized web page data.

The addition of an API makes sense to me – now third-party developers (think Twitter clients or news readers) can access the same powerful parser that Instapaper uses (which is excellent). I'm curious to see which iOS apps will implement it in the near future.

There's also a free tier available here.


Instapaper Launches Notes, Bringing Annotations to Articles

I'm a voracious web reader. I spend most of my working days either writing or checking Twitter, NewsBlur, Nuzzel, Techmeme, and The Tech Block looking for interesting stuff I can link to or longer articles I want to read later. When I'm not writing or looking for stories, I spend my time reading and playing videogames. I read a lot. And Instapaper has always appealed to my reading taste with a thoughtful design, fair business model, and powerful features.

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Instapaper on Apple Watch

The team at betaworks has released Instapaper for Apple Watch today. With the Watch, Instapaper eschews text (you don't want to read long articles on your wrist) in favor of text-to-speech – introduced back in September.

Today we’re introducing a whole new way to get through your articles with Instapaper for the Apple Watch. The Watch app allows you to navigate to any saved article and trigger text-to-speech playback from your iPhone […]

Once an article is selected, the Watch app provides you with a text-to-speech controller that includes options to play, pause, fast forward, rewind, change the rate, and view the article’s current progress […]

As Marco Arment writes, Instapaper is now also an audio app, which makes it suitable for the Watch. Nice idea, especially because it still syncs reading/listening position between devices.


Instapaper 6.2 Adds Speed Reading, Textshots

Nice Instapaper update released today: the app's extension has been sped up (again), Instant Sync has been added (it uses silent notifications on iOS to fetch new articles in the background), and you can now get through your read-later list with speed reading. I've never been a fan of speed reading, but I like how Betaworks integrated it as a feature inside Instapaper. The extension is much faster in the new version, and it seems to be on par with the speed of Pocket's share extension.

Along the lines of integration, Instapaper 6.2 also lets you generate textshots for Twitter directly from the app. There are some excellent touches in how Instapaper handled textshots: they're generated via software (so you won't end up with images cluttering the Camera Roll) and they preserve the current font and theme selection.

A textshot generated by Instapaper and perfectly previewed inline on Twitter.

A textshot generated by Instapaper and perfectly previewed inline on Twitter.

Furthermore, Instapaper also attempts to guess the best aspect ratio to avoid truncation on Twitter. All this, I think, makes it one of the finest implementations of textshots to date. Bonus points for making it easy to tweet a text selection with the Share button of the copy & paste menu.

Betaworks keeps doing good work on Instapaper. Version 6.2 is available now on the App Store.


Instapaper 6.0 Review

Instapaper is an app that lets me read more. For the work that I do on this website, Relay, and, lately, a weekly newsletter, I have no shortage of links with interesting facts or opinions that I want to consume and absorb. The problem isn’t quantity; it’s attention and time. And Instapaper, thanks to a thoughtful design based on a clear focus and goal, makes me want to read more and carve out time for reading because it is designed for one element: text. Instapaper respects text and the person who reads it.

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Instapaper Highlights

Instapaper received a series of major updates today, including a new Highlights feature and a redesigned website based on feedback gathered by Betaworks in the past few months.

From the Instapaper blog:

In true Instapaper fashion, your highlights are seamlessly synced across all of your devices. We’ve also added the option for you to post automatically your highlights to your linked accounts. It’s disabled by default, but if you turn it on, you can do nifty things like automatically Tweet your highlights, or post them to a Tumblr blog, or drop them into Evernote.

And about the website:

Along with highlights, we’ve completely revamped the Instapaper website, incorporating the feedback you’ve provided us over the last few months. At long last, the Instapaper website is a fully-functional file system for managing, organizing, and acting on the articles and videos you see and save online.

I stopped using Instapaper shortly after their iOS 7 update when I switched to Safari and realized that Reading List could be enough for my needs. But with today's update, I'm going to give Instapaper another try.

Reading List is a fine read-later solution that's nicely integrated with Safari and iCloud. I enjoy the ability to save from anywhere on iOS and I like that I don't have to think about sync problems because iCloud has been surprisingly reliable in Reading List. However, after a few months of daily reading in Safari, I can say that I often miss search, I miss a proper archive of items I've read, and I wish I could easily find articles I've liked. Safari's Reading List is extremely convenient because it comes with no configuration or third-party limitations, but it's not meant for permanent article archival or user interactions besides “Delete”.

Highlights is one of the features that I've always wanted from Instapaper, and the implementation looks good enough for what I need. Highlights are available to premium subscribers (free accounts get only 5), and they can be shared with one tap to connected services. Furthermore, you can activate automatic saving of Highlights to Evernote, which works well for me as I keep my research material for The Prompt and Directional in Evernote. Highlights remove a lot of friction – I used to rely on Drafts workflows to share quotes from articles – and, more importantly, they are differentiated visually in the article text (which I couldn't get with the aforementioned quote sharing). Highlights are synced across devices and they get their own section in the Instapaper apps and website, which helps when I'm on my Mac.

I'm going to subscribe to Instapaper again and try out the Highlights feature for my daily reading and research. While I could simulate highlights with workflows before, they weren't integrated with Instapaper in any way, and it seems like Betaworks really nailed the experience in the app.