There’s a lot of buzz about Instapaper, so it’s gratifying to report that it’s hype-worthy. Instapaper is a brilliant service for the iPad age, which is what we’ve just dubbed the next decade. Well, half a decade at least.
Part feed reader, part bookmark tool, it’s a simple idea that’s been well executed. We all know what it’s like to find an interesting article online but you have to pick up the kids or head off to a meeting. You don’t have time to read it, so you bookmark it or, worse, forget about it. That’s where Instapaper comes in.
When you join up, Instapaper prompts you to add a bookmarklet to your browser’s toolbar. The next time you stumble across a useful article online, you click Read Later instead. It’ll be added to your Instapaper account, ready to read when you have the time. Better than that, Instapaper strips all the extra bits from the page – leaving just the main content, formatted for easy reading or printing. Once you’ve read an article, it’s automatically archived, with your main page displaying a list of all your latest additions.
On top of this core functionality are a small collection of apps and extras. You can access Instapaper on your iPhone, for example, or have articles delivered wirelessly to an Amazon Kindle. You can even select items directly within some or your favourite RSS tools, like Google Reader. And to make organising your collection of saved articles easier, they can be sorted into folders.
As soon as we tried Instapaper, we knew that it would immediately become part of our daily workflow. If you have lots of online reading to do, it’ll become part of yours too.