Instapaper Receives 3.0 Update with Social Features, Other Improvements
Instapaper is routinely hailed as one of the best apps of the App Store (it was even among the first inductees to the App Hall of Fame). The sleek app lets users save articles for offline reading, and does so with such quiet competence that it's a joy to use. I reviewed Instapaper back in May 2010, and loved it then; now, the 3.0 update adds even more features!
The full details on listed on Instapaper's blog, but the main focus with this huge update is social. With 3.0, you can share articles to a bevy of social sites including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Evernote, and Pinboard. The app will even queue them up for later posting if you don't have internet access at the time—jeez, I wish some of those sites would implement that feature for their own apps. Additionally, instead of "starring" articles, you now "like" them. Why is this significant? Well, with 3.0, you can browse your friends' liked articles to see who's reading what. To find "friends," users can link their Facebook or Twitter accounts to Instapaper, or search for email addresses. Similarly, an "Editors" browser that features articles collected by "the best human curators on the web who recommend great articles for Instapaper reading."
It should be noted that all of these social features are entirely optional—Instapaper isn't forcing you into anything.
Other improvements are also welcome. You can now save articles to read later from an in-app browser, instead of installing that pesky Safari bookmarklet and having to leave the app. Instapaper is also apparently faster at downloading, and can download images as well. The app can also search through the content of downloaded articles, which is a very welcome addition.
Be aware that upon updating, the app will delete and re-download all of your old articles, which could potentially require an annoyingly long wait.
If you haven't tried Instapaper before, now's the perfect time to jump. The app, which is universal and thus designed for both iPhone and iPad, is only $4.99; if you've already purchased it, the 3.0 update is free.