Saturday, November 13, 2010

Instapaper: editor's picks and more

I've succumbed to the elegant web page reformatter and offline reader Instapaper. I was a late adopter, but I've drunk the Kook Aid now.

It's the technology, it's the service, it's the quality, it's the versatility, it's the content and it's the developer(s). Classy.

Instapaper works beautifully with over 130 iPhone apps including the best Google Reader client: .

You don't need an iPhone to use Instapaper (currently only the iPhone app generates revenue, that may change). It's great on the desktop too - it makes the most ad laden, Flash infested, page broken content a pleasure to read (and breaks business models too, but that's another story).

It also solves a problem that you might have too.

You know you do it. Sitting in a boring phone meeting**. Browsing web sites on your corporate box (or iPhone* or iPad). All's fine until you see something you really want to read. That's crossing the line though. I can't read something good and pay attention to a dull meeting. Worse, I might continue when the meeting is done -- when I should be doing real work. (I assume everything I do on a corporate machine is monitored of course.)

Instapaper solves the problem. I click the Read Later bookmarklet and put the browser down. I'll read the article, elegantly formatted, on my iPhone later. If you don't have an iPhone, you can read it with any web client through your free Instapaper account.

Instapaper is $5 on the app store with a fine free version if you, like me, distrust reviews.

Oh, and don't miss the Editor's Picks. I'd like to know where the #$! they come from. Great list of readings, and anyone can browse this list -- even if they never use Instapaper.

*iOS browser bookmarklet integration of Instapaper is painful. Apple needs to fix this one, the developer can't. It's simple to use the mail article feature though.

** My meetings are not boring. For one thing I get 60 minute meetings done in 15, for another I round-robin attendees for comments q5-8 minutes.

PS. Instapaper got top grades on every cloud service test I use.

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