Feb 14

Review: Instapaper

There is no bigger (and greater) source of information than the web. However, this vastness  of information and articles can sometimes make  it a terrible place to quench your reading desires . Content is hidden behind the richness of web pages which can be distracting at times. Add to that an everlasting shortage of time that encourages quick skimming of articles. In many cases,  it is very easy to forget and difficult to recall some of the great content that we come across almost daily.

My search for a solution to this particular problem in my life introduced me to Instapaper. This cloud based service offers an excellent way to keep track of all the interesting stories that you might not immediately have time to read. Instapaper re-formats the article for easy and simple reading.

The application can be downloaded from Apple store for five dollars and all the articles and stories can be kept in synchronization across iPad, iPhone and laptop (provided you chose a common username while registering). And above all, it is very simple to use. Whenever you find an article or a story you want to read later, just click on a button “Read later” on your web browser and the article will be waiting for you to access from your iPad or iPhone. This personalized environment lets you organize articles into a folder and share with others as well. The application also lets a reader switch to a black background mode (which especially looks great on an iPad) so that reading can be done without any bright lights during nights. You can chose to go to the original article or chose a text only mode. The text only mode takes out all the unnecessary elements and provides a relaxed way to enjoy the reading experience. Another major draw is that the saved links on the application can be read offline.This helps especially if you are stuck with your iPad or an iPhone in a place with no internet connection.


You can either browse the internet from within Instapaper and save the article there or you can send an article to Instapaper from any website or application by clicking on the “read later” bookmark. If you use Google reader, you can add Instapaper as one of the “send to” options.

The application was developed out of necessity by Marco Arment, its sole developer, after a frustrating experience searching for an article. Today, it is a profitable one man business with millions of users. The product and the business model in a way is a testimony to the fact that internet has leveled the playing field. Atleast, it proves that one does not always need a million dollar funding  and an army of engineers and MBA’s to build an excellent product that adds value and makes life easier.

It is a complex task to create simple things. Instapaper is a simple yet ingenious reading solution that creates a personalized connection with an article.

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