Instapaper Gets a Major Update and a Design Refresh for iPad

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Instapaper – the excellent app (and service) that lets you save web pages and articles for reading later offline – has had a major update today, to Version 4.0.

4.0 looks like a huge update, and has some very notable changes and additions. One of the most instantly noticeable is a design refresh for the iPad version – ‘Completely redesigned iPad list interface as a grid with sidebar’ – that looks great in action.

Another very welcome new feature is the ability to multi-select articles in list in order to archive, delete, or move them in bulk.


I really like the way the sidebar is present in both landscape and portrait modes.

Here’s more of the change list for Verion 4.0:

– Search Subscription: the $1/month Subscription from the Instapaper website is now available in the app via In-App Purchase. It’s called Search Subscription, and it adds server-side searching of the *full contents* of every article you’ve ever saved. This replaces the old downloaded-articles-only search in the app.
– Archive and Delete now peacefully coexist everywhere
– App Directory (in Settings) lists apps that integrate with Instapaper
– Hardware brightness control in iOS 5 (brightness now also available on iPhone)
– Draggable scrollbar for quickly jumping through documents
– Article authors, published dates, and site titles are now displayed when available (availability will increase over time)
– "Friends" section can now browse all recent links posted in your Facebook news feed, Twitter timeline, and Tumblr Dashboard
– "Editors" is now fully intergrated and sourced exclusively from Give Me Something To Read
– New settings to customize number of Liked/Archive articles stored on device
– Wikipedia lookups added to newly redesigned "Define" popups
– Footnotes are converted to inline "…" buttons that display in popovers
– YouTube URLs now open in the system’s YouTube app
– New option to use Apple’s dictionary under iOS 5
– Minor improvements to the in-article styling
– Smoother tilt scrolling that works well in all orientations
– New icon
– Added Tweetbot and The Hit List to Share panel
– When updating, the entire table no longer reloads after each article downloads. It now just reloads once after the main update request, showing all (even un-downloaded) articles, and they enable themselves as they get downloaded.

I came across one issue after doing the update on my iPad 2 this morning. A number of recently added articles (around 20 or so that were added over the last month) were shown as ‘downloading’ long after the update install was done and the app appeared to have finished syncing downloads. And these were all articles that were already present in the app prior to the update. Tapping on each affected article and choosing ‘try to Re-download’ is the only workaround I’ve found so far. They each come down properly when doing that. There’s also an option in the app’s settings to re-download all articles, but I’m loathe to try that one as I have quite a volume of articles and only a small percentage need to be downloaded again.

Here’s an App Store link for Instapaper; it’s priced at $4.99 and is a universal app designed for both iPad and iPhone.

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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