Even though Instapaper developer Marco Arment has repeatedly stated he wouldn’t bring his beloved app to Android, that apparently doesn’t rule out pushing the development work to someone else. Today Instapaper finally makes it way to Android smartphones and tablets for $2.99, brought to you by the app development firm Mobelux.
Arment approached the team at Mobelux after working with them to develop the Tumblr Android app.
What’s more interesting is why he decided to finally adopt Android: “I think it was the success of the Kindle Fire and the Nook that tipped my hand,” Arment told the Verge in an interview. “They sold millions of units. I am not a fan of the 7-inch form factor, I mean what is that, a padfone, a phablet? But for me personally, Instapaper is now a tablet app first, and smartphone second.”
For the most part, the app functions just like its iOS counterpart: You can bookmark stories from the Android browser, as well as access other stories you’ve saved to read later. (Check out our extensive hands-on with the Android Instapaper.)
Alongside Instagram and Flipboard, Instapaper was one of the few wildly popular iOS apps that were absent on Android. But now that all three apps have finally hit Google’s platform, it seems like we’ve hit a turning point: as much as developers love iOS, they can no longer ignore Android as a viable market for their apps.
Coming late to Android may have hurt Instapaper’s fanbase on Google’s platform. I’ve heard from many former Instapaper users who moved over to competing bookmarking service Read It Later, which recently rebranded itself as Pocket.
Arment still prefers iOS as a user, he said in the interview, but appreciates certain aspects of Android as a developer — for instance, the ability to make Instapaper appear in the browser’s share menu.
To be fair, both iOS and Android present issues for developers, but since Apple’s platform has been a much better money-maker, it understandably gets more attention from some developers. But with Instapaper’s long-awaited release on Android, I think we’re going to see more developers finally taking Android seriously. And hopefully, it means you can say goodbye to drool-worthy apps being exclusive to iOS.
More: MobileBeat 2016 is focused on the paradigm shift from apps to AI, messaging, and chatbots. Don't miss this opportunity: July 12 and 13 in San Francisco.