Big (and very good) news!
This minor update contains more iOS 6 bugfixes, including email composing and the Search sheet on iPad.
The 4.2.5 update’s dyslexia-optimized font addition prompted an influx of positive feedback, and a few people told me about another great font, FS Me. FS Me was designed with and endorsed by Mencap to aid legibility for those with learning disabilities, and it’s now available in Instapaper 4.2.6.
But everyone, not just those with learning disabilities, should give it a try. It’s that good.
Instapaper 4.2.5 was just approved with support for the iPhone 5, iOS 6 compatibility improvements, and bugfixes.
Many people use Instapaper for improved accessibility, especially customers with low or no vision. Given what Instapaper does — capture any web page and present it in a consistent, adjustable, customer-controlled environment — it’s a natural fit for bringing improved accessibility and legibility to anyone who needs it.
I started looking for a dyslexia-optimized font two years ago, but couldn’t find one that was licensable for apps until now. I’m happy to report that in this update, I added the Open-Dyslexic font by Abelardo Gonzalez. Its bottom-weighted characters are designed to reduce letter-swapping and increase differentiation between similar-looking letters, which improves readability for people with dyslexia. It’s now the bottom-most option in the font list in Instapaper’s text-controls (“aA”) panel.
Last week, 9to5mac published this article in which the author intentionally derided me and Instapaper, called it “Instascraper”, and initially accused Instapaper of being responsible for the now-debunked “FBI” UDID leak. Despite my attempts to get them to correct what they wrote, they refused.
Instapaper’s reputation was severely damaged by the FBI server raid at its former web host. Even though the host claims that the FBI was never in possession of any disks with Instapaper’s data, hundreds of my customers still accused me of giving their data willingly to the FBI and breaching their trust. I was, therefore, defensive about bringing this back up and erroneously linking Instapaper to the FBI yet again, and I was angry at 9to5Mac for willingly putting my company’s reputation in such danger even after they knew this information to be false.
Regarding “Instascraper”, Instapaper (and all similar services) operates in the legal gray area of fair use. I tread lightly with the fair-use liberties I take, because it’s extremely expensive and therefore effectively impossible for a small company like Instapaper to defend itself against such claims. Name-calling my service “Instascraper” suggests that 9to5Mac sees it as nothing more than a “scraper”, a derisive term implying infringement beyond fair use. Furthermore, 9to5Mac’s behavior and communication with me repeatedly and clearly showed that they did not like Instapaper or me, and were not interested in correcting what they wrote or being anything but hostile.
With my anger about the FBI implication, and my fear about how they might behave legally in the future, I overreacted.
I did what I could, albeit embarrassingly after civil attempts failed, to try to get 9to5Mac to correct their FBI statements. That’s all I really could do short of pursuing a libel claim, which I thought would be overkill. But regarding the legal “scraper” concern, I thought the safest course of action for Instapaper’s long-term health was to block Instapaper from fetching 9to5Mac’s pages.
Instapaper has offered a publisher opt-out for years, and it’s the only service of its type to offer this publicly on the website for all publishers to see. The last thing I want is for Instapaper to have a hostile relationship with any publisher, so I give publishers complete control. I offer the opt-out confidently, knowing that major publishers don’t object to Instapaper, and many of them actually love it. But since no major publisher has opted out, very few Instapaper customers have ever seen the opt-out message.
The best way to prevent Instapaper from accessing 9to5Mac’s pages was to add them to the opt-out list. So I did that, thinking I’d let the dust settle and reevaluate that decision later once I had a better idea of how they felt about Instapaper.
In retrospect, that was an overreaction. 9to5Mac’s statements, as much as they angered and scared me, did not constitute an opt-out. Furthermore, it was inappropriate to add a publisher to the opt-out list that did not explicitly request it.
I’ve now reversed that decision, and I’m sorry that I overreacted.
Instapaper is now available for Android devices, including the Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet, and Nook Color!
We’ve taken great care to make sure Instapaper for Android is a true first class citizen on Android. This is not a cross-platform framework-in-a-box hack job. We carefully designed and implemented layouts for 7-inch tablets (like the Kindle Fire and NOOK Color), 10-inch tablets (like the Motorola XOOM and Samsung Galaxy Tab) and phones (like the Samsung Galaxy series and Motorola Droid series.) Instapaper for Android supports the very highest fidelity screens and uses the newest Android UI paradigms. Long story short, this was a labor of love and we’re very proud of what we’ve made for you.
It already includes many of the features from Instapaper’s award-winning iOS app, and they’re not done yet: Mobelux is working hard to add even more features soon.
Now, with Background Update Locations, Instapaper can automatically download new articles whenever you enter or leave locations such as your home or workplace. Visit the Settings panel to set it up.
This feature requires an iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad 2 with 3G, or current iPad with 4G.
Special thanks to News.me for pioneering this clever technique.
iOS doesn’t yet permit apps like Instapaper to automatically download new content in the background on a regular schedule, but Background Update Locations can get most of the way there for a lot of people. Simply add up to 10 locations that you enter and leave often, and Instapaper will frequently update without manually launching it.
Instapaper stores these locations only within the app itself, only for this purpose, and does not share them or send them to any web service (not even its own servers). I respect your privacy.
Because this feature uses geofencing, you might be skeptical of battery life. (I was.) For whatever it’s worth, I’ve had it enabled for two weeks and haven’t noticed a meaningful battery-life difference on my iPhone or iPad.
The 4.2.2 update also includes improved typography and miscellaneous bugfixes. It’s now available in the App Store as a free update to all customers. Update now!
This is a significant update with many fixes and new features, including a new iBooks-Style Pagination option:
New iBooks-Style Pagination option. The old animation is available in Fast Pagination mode.
- All-new Fast Pagination mode, a complete rewrite from the old pagination code that greatly improves accuracy and page-turn speed
- New draggable dot bar to replace the scroll bar in pagination mode
- New two-finger-swipe gesture to close an article
- Full-screen now has “Auto” mode to switch to full screen after a few seconds
- The subtle Twilight Sepia color tint can now be selected at any time
- Added sharing to Drafts and the upcoming Quotebook 2.0
- Many bugfixes and performance improvements
This update is free for all customers. Update today!
The Instapaper “Read Later” bookmarklet is now redesigned as a faster, more compatible full-page overlay that’s easier to see.
The previous little “Saved!” frame had a great run, but its time has passed. Readers are now saving more pages than ever on tablets and phones, and the old bookmarklet wasn’t visible enough there. Instapaper’s customers would often complain that they didn’t even see the old bookmarklet working.
So the bookmarklet now sports a completely new design that’s highly visible at every screen size, and works in more browsers, too:
The new bookmarklet now also supports automatic saving of every page in multi-page articles.
Like the previous bookmarklet, it works for sites that require logins or payment, too: if you can view a page, you can save it to your Instapaper account. You don’t need to give Instapaper your passwords (I don’t want them) or require publishers to change their business models. If you can see it, you can save it.
You don’t need to reinstall your Read Later bookmarklet to get this update. It applies automatically to the one you already have.
For feedback, bug reports, or requests to improve the handling of particular sites, please email. Thank you.