Instapaper Pro in Review – All of the world wide web in your pocket… offline!

Reading has increasingly become a dying pastime in the current age of TV and Podcasting. Almost the only real place I can find the opportunity to enjoy it is on the commute to work and back. How great it is to enjoy a good long article from the comfort of my iDevice. And here I often run into a problem – no data coverage. Frustrated at the greedy mobile operators, stealing my only chance of broadening my horizons I set out on a quest to find an answer. And I did – Instapaper Pro!

Instapaper Pro is combination of a cloud-based service and a universal iPhone/iPad app. The premise is simple – once you run across something you’d like to enjoy at your leisure, you use a special “Read It Later…” JavaScript bookmarklet and the Instapaper service saves it on your free online account. After you do this you can easily get access to your saved articles, already optimized for portable viewing from the app on the remote device.

On the iDevice side you have full access to all of the saved articles, fully synchronized over the wireless data connection, be it Wi-Fi or 3G for offline viewing. If you’re on a limited plan you’ll certainly appreciate the option to turn off auto-syncing on startup to conserve traffic. The articles in Instapaper Pro are organized using the same folders as in the online service, allowing you to find the one in question quickly and easily.

But one of the most noteworthy features of Instapaper Pro is not just the storage of articles for offline reading. It is their automatic conversion for easy and comfortable reading. Instapaper strips the default font formatting as well the annoying navigation bars of websites sites, leaving pure and plain text and pictures. Tables seem to be supported correctly as well as font size and style. Another feature worth a separate mention is pagination – the app splits the article into virtual pages and allows users to read through them like through a book, with a simple tap of a finger to advance a whole page. Bundle this with selectable fonts, support for both vertical and landscape views and switchable themes and you get a superb information consumption medium.

An added bonus are the services available on the online-storage side of things. You can star articles and organize them into folders, as well as making an RSS feed out of specific folders to share the pieces quickly and easily. You can also export the articles into Kindle or ePub formats or simply view them in a Printer-friendly way if you still can’t do away with paper. One problem you may run into is the fact the service doesn’t sync cookies, which means that if you add a forum post it may actually only process the login screen if the post requires registration to view.

Instapaper Pro is the app of choice if you ever find yourself coming across an interesting article on the web and don’t have the time to read it that very moment. Combining seamless web-browser integration, excellent online-capabilities and a superb, user-friendly interface, Instapaper Pro brings easy information consumption to the iDevice in ways unimaginable before. And for you lucky iPad owners the app is universal and the high-res interface is every bit as good as the iPhone’s, if not better!

With this I declare Instapaper Pro officially touched!

App Summary
Title: Instapaper Pro Developer: Marco Arment
Reviewed Ver: 2.2.3 Min OS Req: 3.0 (Universal)
Price: $4.99 App Size: 4.0 MB
  • Fast and user-friendly UI
  • Excellent article conversion engine
  • Seamless browser integration
  • Article organization options
  • Universal app for all iDevices
  • May run into problems grabbing an article from a forum with restricted viewing access


Care to make the most of your iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad? Check out these productivity apps!

A project manager in a major telecommunications supplier, an iPhone junkie and lately - a TMA editor. Love long walks on the beach and my wife, who is the most beautiful girl on the face of this planet. You can also follow me on twitter for all things iPhone and project management (and some personal stuff as well):

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