Instapaper brings beautifully simple bookmarking to the iPhone and iPod Touch

Online bookmarking site Instapaper has been one of the sites I use the most on the Internet for a while now. When used in conjunction with its bookmarklet (a JavaScript link placed in your web browser’s link menu), you can bookmark any page on the Internet with one click. These are then accessed from Instapaper’s main page, giving you a singular place for all of the items you want to read at a later time or save.

Most of the time I use Instapaper to bookmark a page that I want to read on my iPhone later on while I’m on the go. The service’s web app was pretty good for that task, but now it has a native app that takes it to a whole new level.

The Instapaper app, available as a free download in the Apple App Store, downloads the content you have bookmarked to your iPhone or iPod Touch so you can read it — even if you have no Internet connection whatsoever.

You might think this is pointless because of the key features of the iPhone is that you are basically always online. But lets remember, unlike the iPhone, the iPod Touch has no cellular service. That means when you are not around a Wi-Fi hotspot, you cannot access the Internet, and thus your bookmarks. Now you’ll be able to.

Lets also remember that on airplanes there is still no viable Internet solution. Now I can load the Instapaper app on my iPhone, load up a bunch of content to read later that I had saved, get on a plane and read it. Brilliant.

I once called Instapaper “beautifully simple” and this app is no different. It displays you bookmarked items on the main screen and you simply click on one to read it. Because all of the content is downloaded, it never leaves the app itself (to venture out into the World Wide Web), so it’s a very quick way to get through bookmarked items.


Also really great is that the app offers you the option of reading content as it looks on the website it’s from or simply as a text item. (See: above screenshots)

This web view allows you to see images but smartly compresses them further to ensure its process of downloading them is fast. It also removes and JavaScript running on the page (which is often advertisements, so that’s good for you) and also comments (you’ll have to go to the page to read those, Instapaper is simply about bookmarking the content). Again, this is to cut down on download time.

Instapaper is a side project by Marco Arment, the lead developer for the blogging site Tumblr.

Instapaper competes with other bookmarking sites such as Yahoo’s Delicious and the newer LaterLoop, but it is simpler to use than both of those. Aside from literally being one-click bookmarking, Instapaper doesn’t even require that you have a password. You can simply have a user name if you wish, or you can password-protect your bookmarks.

This application is definitely being added to my iPhone’s main screen.

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