You find a great article on the Internet, but you just don’t have the time to read it right now. That’s where a handy tool like Instapaper can come into the picture. There’s a simple web interface that lets you save just about any webpage for later viewing and this is all done without needing to install anything on your computer.
But what about reading on the road? Not surprisingly, the Instapaper app for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad is arguably even more popular than the basic web interface. A lot of this has to do with the ability to read your saved pages even when you’re offline, meaning that WiFi-only iPad can provide you with hours of reading material, even if you happen to be thousands of feet up in the air on a plane.
Instapaper for the iPhone
The Instapaper app is available for both the iPhone and iPad, selling for $4.99 through the iTunes App Store. The two versions work in fundamentally the same way, but they’ve been optimized for the respective screen sizes of the two iDevices.
For example, Instapaper is set up with a “Text” option that downloads a “mostly-text version of each page, using ideal formatting for maximum readability on the iPhone.” To further aid in readability, you’re provided with adjustable fonts, as well as adjustable line spacing, text size, and margins. As you can also see above, there is something called “Dark Mode” in Instapaper that flips the text to being white on a black background. This is a lot easier on the eyes when you choose to do a little reading in a dimmer environment.
While you could just read the pages that you save, Instapaper also lets you browse through your friends’ liked articles, as well as daily selections from “the best editors on the web.”
A Bigger View on the iPad
Over on the iPad, the experience is much the same. The digest-style layout is particularly well suited for the larger display of Apple’s tablet device and you can still use the “Text” option to strip away the visuals and focus on the content.
Included in both the iPhone and iPad versions is another very handy feature: dictionary. If you come across a word in an article and you’re not sure of its meaning, you can highlight it and look it up on the spot. There’s also access to Wikipedia, in case you want a little more background on a person, place, company, or whatever else.
Sharing with Your Linked Accounts
You know how I said you could browse the pages that your friends liked on Instapaper? The sharing aspect works in the other direction too. If you happen to be reading something that you think is worth sharing, you can do so from within the app, posting it to Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Evernote, and all sorts of other apps. This is true even if you happen to be offline at the time; it’ll just post the content when your iDevice regains an active Internet connection.
There is a reason why Instapaper is consistently ranked as one of the favorite apps for the iPhone and the iPad. If you want the ability to save content for later reading, this is a very good option.