Monday, October 17, 2011

Instapaper gets an important update to its universal app

If I were limited to just one or two third party apps on my iPhone or iPad there is no doubt that Instapaper would be one of the apps I chose. Even with the addition of Reading List to the Safari browser, Instapaper remains the gold standard.
Today, after a bit of haggling with the app review team at Apple, Marco Arment has seen his latest update released into the App Store. Instapaper is a $4.99 app that works on both the iPhone and iPad, and the update is chock full of great programming work (as you'd expect).

The updated iPad app now sports a grid look, proving that Marco would probably have been one of the first to adopt the disco look in the '70s had been old enough. The grid, or as I like to say, boxes boxes boxes, is the design du jour of the tablet world, so I suppose it shouldn't be surprising that it would appear here.

In reality, the old look was a list, so a grid works just as well, I suppose. In fact, since stories are brought in chronologically, with the latest one first, the gird look makes sense – just as it makes absolutely no sense in situations where an editor is trying to show the importance of a story by placing it in a specific place and giving it more real estate than other stories.
The new features also include such things as an app directory, to be found under Settings, that list apps that integrate with Instapaper (brilliant). In fact, the Settings here is a marvel. One could spend a fair amount of time just in Settings.

Of course, all the goodies that were in Instapaper before are still there, including Pagination that converts the page so that instead of scrolling within a story one can page flip.

I've always thought that Marco Arment needs to work for a major publishing company designing the quintessential media app. But updates to Instapaper are always appreciated so I guess we should be satisfied with that.