Kindle feature dramatically improved

I’m very happy to announce the result of a lot of work that dramatically improves the Kindle edition of Instapaper: periodical formatting. (This is one of those things that’s much harder to get working properly than you’d expect, but the result was worth it.)

Instapaper’s Kindle files are now formatted like Kindle magazines and newspapers.

This means:

  • Tapping left or right on the stick (between Menu and Back on the Kindle 2) quickly switches to the previous or next articles, respectively. No more moving the cursor through the page for navigation links.
  • Tapping the center of the stick shows the Sections List, and selecting the number (under “view articles”) shows a convenient table of contents with quick up/down navigation and the first few words of each article.
  • Only the most recent Instapaper file is shown on the Kindle’s home screen. Old Instapaper files are automatically moved to the “Periodicals: Back Issues” folder. So if you don’t read your Instapaper articles all week, and you use daily delivery, you won’t clutter up your home screen with a huge stack of Instapaper issues.

This applies to all wireless deliveries starting from today’s (Monday) and all files downloaded from the Kindle-download button in the Unread sidebar since last night. (Set up Kindle wireless delivery from Instapaper.)

In my opinion, these changes transform the Kindle wireless deliveries from a novelty into a truly useful feature, and it’s now my favorite way to read content from Instapaper. And I really like Instapaper Pro on the iPhone, so that’s really saying something.