Instapaper 3.0 for iPhone and iPad is now available in the App Store, and I’ve updated the Instapaper website to include many of its new features as well. This is the biggest update Instapaper has ever had in one version, and I’m proud to finally show it to you.
Both the app and the website now have full-featured, native sharing to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinboard, and Evernote.
Your credentials and sharing preferences sync between the website and the app, so you only need to log into each service from one place.
You can post to any of these services from the app offline, and the app will queue up the post to be submitted next time it’s online.
Like prior versions, Tumblr posts can be created as Draft, Queued, or Published posts on any of your account’s Tumblr blogs, and if you have any text selected when you hit the Share button in the app, it will offer the choice of creating a Quote or Link post. (This is how I create almost every quote on my blog: with Instapaper set to create Draft posts, I quote interesting selections from articles and post them, and then I filter through them later from my computer to add commentary and publish the best ones.)
You can link your accounts on these services to Instapaper on the Account page, or in the app’s Settings panel under “Sharing Accounts”.
Stars are now Likes
Nobody knew when or why to use Stars, so I’ve renamed them to Likes to clarify their purpose. Generally, you should Like articles that you think are interesting and that you might recommend to others. Because…
Browse Likes from friends
Instapaper is now social! (Don’t worry, it’s tasteful and optional.)
You can now browse your friends’ Liked items to find great articles to read.
You can find friends through your linked Facebook or Twitter accounts, your email addresses in Contacts (from the app), or by entering their email addresses yourself (on the website). Since we’re starting from zero, check back often over the coming weeks to find more friends who linked their Facebook or Twitter accounts with Instapaper.
You can see your friends’ Liked articles and add more friends from the Browse section on the website, or the Friends button in the app.
Don’t forget to link your Facebook and/or Twitter accounts and start Liking articles when they’re good!
Browse editors’ picks, or any website
The app also now has a completely rewritten web browser built in, so you can browse to any website, find the articles you want to read later, and save them directly from the app.
And there’s a new Editors browser, featuring the best human curators on the web who recommend great articles for Instapaper reading.
With these great new additions, many customers won’t even need the bookmarklet anymore.
Phasing out RSS folders
With all of these great new ways to find pages to read, I’ve decided to phase out the rarely-used RSS-folder feature. In 3.0, it’s no longer possible to create new RSS folders, and existing RSS folders will stop being updated soon.
This results in much faster updates and downloads, far less space usage on your iPhone and iPad, and much less bandwidth usage over your 3G connections. I previously had a handful of RSS folders on my account, but I never used them — and my updates absolutely fly without them now. Without this burden, I’ll also be able to increase the number of Starred and Archived items retained by the app (optionally, of course) in the near future.
More new 3.0 features
In addition to the great new sharing and browsing systems, 3.0 has a number of major improvements:
- New storage engine with perfect image quality, faster downloads, faster page-opening, and less space usage. To get all of the images properly and write the new data, all articles will be re-downloaded after updating. Be sure you update when you have enough time to download them all. (Fortunately, it’s a lot faster than before!)
- The app can now search the content of all of its downloaded articles. It’s not website-powered yet, so it can’t search your entire online Archive, but I’m looking into that for the future.
- The new “smart rotation lock” displays an overlay with a Rotation switch after you rotate, but to avoid annoying you constantly, it only appears if the rotation seemed accidental. (If you turn Rotation off, you can turn it back on at any time from the Settings pane.)
- The Share panel now supports creating tasks in Things.
- The Settings pane now has two new advanced preferences: Reverse tilt-scrolling direction, and disable helpful dialogs. (If you really want to disable the scroll-to-top protection or the scroll-during-pagination dialog, this is for you.)
- The iPad no longer uses the top and bottom gradient to fade the text out, instead opting for a clean shadow line borrowed from Reeder's style. I'd like to thank Silvio Rizzi, Reeder's author, for generously giving me permission to copy this great design element.
Plus many more big and small fixes and improvements.
Go get it
As usual, Instapaper 3.0 is a free upgrade to anyone who has ever bought the paid app. For new customers, it’s only $4.99 for the universal iPhone and iPad app. What are you waiting for?