Palimpsest Review
iPad App
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Palimpsest Review

Our Review by Kevin Stout on May 18th, 2011
Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SIMPLE
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Palimpsest curates long reads from various magazines and presents them in a simple, text-only form.

Developer: Navanit Arakeri
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 2.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad

iPad Integration Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

I spend over half of my time on the iPad with news and blogs. I used Pulse for RSS, Zite for more news and blogs after RSS, various magazine apps, and Twitter to find even more. But something I don’t seem to get enough of in my current setup is longer reads. Before Palimpsest, my only source of long reads was the section built-in to Instapaper for it.

Palimpsest grabs articles from various magazines like The New Yorker and The Atlantic and brings them all into one app. There’s no setup required. The user simply gives a thumbs up or down to each article that they read and Palimpsest learns what articles to use. The two features that are probably the strongest for Palimpsest is offline reading and how it presents the text.

When Palimpsest is open and connected to the internet, it downloads new articles in the background. So without any effort from the user, articles are available for reading at any time. At the moment, my queue has 55 articles for me to read, 10 of them available for offline reading. I couldn’t find anyway to set the amount of articles to save for offline viewing. Palimpsest does this by itself and in the background. I’d like to set it to download more. Not because I’m frequently out of WiFi range, but because I like the speed associated with data stored directly onto a device.

The other great feature is that it presents just the text from the article, like Instapaper. The articles are much easier on the eyes without all of the distractions that would exist on the website version. But even better, the article as it appears on the website is still available by simply pressing “View Original.”

Palimpsest has a beautifully simplistic design and I’ll definitely be going to it in the future for long reads, but there are a few things I’d like to see in a future update. I’d like to be able to either (1) set the magazines it picks the articles from or (2) enter the subjects that I like to read about. I enjoy having more direct control over my content then having some program figure out my interests and occasionally get it wrong. Also, like I said above, I’d like to be able to set how many articles it downloads for offline viewing (also a control issue). Otherwise, for $2.99, Palimpsest is a great app for anyone looking for curated long reads.
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iPad Screenshots

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Magazines for iPad screenshot 1 Magazines for iPad screenshot 2 Magazines for iPad screenshot 3 Magazines for iPad screenshot 4
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