Progress

The next major version of the iPhone/iPod touch app, Instapaper Free and Pro 1.4, is almost done! This is a major update — almost worthy of the “2.0” designation (but don’t worry, I have even bigger plans for that).

A preview of what’s in store for 1.4 Free and Pro:

  • Many minor interface improvements.
  • Updates run continuously. The application automatically checks for updates whenever you have an internet connection.
  • Articles download separately from the main viewing thread, so you can read articles while downloading others.
  • If you edit an article’s title, URL, or description on Instapaper.com, the new information is synchronized to the iPhone app.
  • The graphical version of pages is now stored differently, resulting in faster downloads, faster performance on the iPhone, and better website compatibility.

Pro-only:

  • Read Later button when a link is tapped
  • Star articles (will correspond with useful upcoming features on the site)
  • Redownload specific articles on demand
  • Download a specific article’s Graphical layout on demand, even if the app is set to Text-only downloads normally
  • Fixed the split-second white flash when pages were loaded in dark mode (wasn’t that annoying?)
  • Option not to check for updates automatically, even when there is an internet connection (if you need to conserve data usage)
  • Beta PDF support. I’m still not convinced that I can do this well — I can’t resize the font or provide a text-optimized layout, and there are some issues with trying to use the Read Later bookmarklet on a PDF URL. Once you get it saved, it will be just like reading a PDF in Mail or Safari, but with Instapaper’s position-saving and tilt scrolling. I guess reading PDFs without text/layout customization is better than not reading them at all.

I’m about a week away from sending it to the first beta testers. I don’t usually beta test with other people for very long — these are usually considered release candidates, as I’ve been privately testing it myself heavily for months. So it’s very close to release. Get excited! (I sure am.)