I used to be in love with Readability, for it’s great fonts and beautiful design and Pocket was the new cool kid on the block, making me over look Instapaper and what it can provide for me and my workflow.
I bought Instapaper without giving it a proper test. I was confused how a simple feature like search isn’t free, but then things started to get clearer, the fog disappeared and the true beauty of Instapaper started to make my heart beat every time I opened it.
The story begins when a man named Marco Arment developed a small app to help him read articles offline when he didn’t have an internet connection. It started to get bigger over the years, but Marco was ready for all of this, developing his app and making an app that people started using as a measurement tool for beauty and simplicity.
An app that feels like a true white paper in your hand, a paper filled with ink that won’t make you miss a newspaper anymore, it’s that perfect. Instapaper IS that perfect.
“When I launched Instapaper in 2008, it was a very basic web app. It quickly expanded to define the pillars of the read-later market.” – Marco Arment
Years went by and Instapaper grew so big, to a point where Marco couldn’t take care of it anymore and had to let it go to this wild and cruel world.
Marco made the decision to give his app to another company, but he made the right decision when he gave his app to Betaworks. It’s not a company that killed the app, or slowed it’s development, or a company that said, “Ok the app is doing good, lets take the money and not bring something new to the table.”
No, Betaworks is keeping it’s promise to continue the development of the app and making it even better by having great developers work on it like Brian Donohue, who managed to take Instapaper to the next level in a very short time.
“With Betaworks’ drive and resources, I’m confident that Instapaper has a very bright future. I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do.” – Marco Arment
Instapaper grew till it was 5 years under the wings of Marco, and now it’s almost 6 being raised by Betaworks who managed to bring plenty of new improvement to Instapaper along with a new design and features.
First, Betaworks revamped the app by making it iOS 7 ready, with a brand new clean and simple design, a beautiful new icon and a new Instapaper website that looks perfect. Second, is their new cool and really useful features like sorting the articles by date, length, popularity, or having the option of those saved for later articles being shuffled for you.
Now the company came back with Highlights, a feature that will allow you to highlight important text in the article for later reading, or research. This feature isnt free, but you won’t mind paying for the premium features because the company actually did a great job over the year, making the app stand out amongst the others.
Another great feature about Instapaper is how it’s able to speak with other apps, making it so easy for you to send text, links, or entire articles to apps like Pinboard, Drafts, or Simplenote. This is really handy when doing research or when I do linked posts.
Yup, they are behind two great websites. Digg is a news website that also works as an alternative to Google Reader and Bitly the go-to service, when you want to shorten your links, which I personally use on my website using a custom subdomain: o.news47ell.com
So that’s the story of a creator, an app, and a new home filled with love and passion to make something great even greater.
That’s why for 3+ months I’ve been using Instapaper and I will never look back.
I really hope you enjoyed it.
Also make sure to read A Fresh Look for betaworks, an article about Betaworks new design.
You can buy the universal app for iOS from iTunes.
And, I didn’t forget about you Android users out there, Instapaper is available in Google Play.