A couple of months ago, I went into the Apple store with a question about my iPhone screen. The genius helping me asked if I would demonstrate the problem I was having, so I did using an app that gets more screen time than just about any other on either my iPhone or iPad. The app was Instapaper.
Now I thought that just about everybody with an iOS device knew about this app and the network service which goes along with it. I was wrong. The guy looked at me, eyebrows furrowed, head tilted slightly.
“Instapaper. What’s that? I’ve never heard of it.”
Rightly or wrongly, I gave up on him being able to fix my problem (he didn’t fix it). It was unbelievable to me that an Apple store genius working with iPhones would have never seen Instapaper before. For better or worse (or unrelated) he hadn’t.
Fast-forward to today and Instapaper is still one of my most used apps, and if you could somehow log the amount of time an app spends onscreen, Instapaper would most certainly win. Why? Let’s assume, like that wayward Apple genius, you’ve never heard of it before.
Instapaper is a service which allows you to save articles for reading later. In the app, all the clutter, flashing ads, comment streams, suggested stories, they’re gone. It’s just you and the article on the device of your choice (even Android now). For many, this is a problem that you don’t even know needs to be solved until you try it. Once you start saving, and reading, articles, suddenly the quality of content on the Internet seems to rise.
Often, Instapaper is called a modern magazine. You decide which articles are in the magazine (content related images included), and you decide when to read them (even when you don’t have an Internet connection). If you don’t like the default font, there are several excellent print-quality font choices to make the text more readable or appropriate for the type of articles you like to save.
I’m going to keep this short, because there are so many clever features in this app that I’m still discovering them even after using it consistently for two years. The fifth app to be returned to my home screen after the purge is Instapaper.
Get the universal app for your iPhone and iPad on the AppStore for $3.99, it’s worth every penny.