Marco Arment is an Apple purist, so it’s natural that the newest release of his popular app, Instapaper 4.0, treats the iPad and the iPhone as distinct devices worthy of their own details.
On his blog Mr. Arment notes, “The iPad browsing interface has been completely redesigned to feel more at home in the iPad environment. Instead of just being a blown-up full-screen list, it’s now a more touch-friendly grid, with all navigation available in any orientation.”
Like Apple, Mr. Arment is laser focused on reducing clutter. The new iPhone version actually removes the top status bar by default (it can be pulled down), leaving more room for a clutter free reading experience.
Articles now come with meta-data like Author, Site Title and Publication Date. If you’re working your way through a particular long read and don’t want to leave, but also don’t want to burn your toast, just tap the action button and the status bar slides in with the current time.
Betabeat knows well the practice of turning off the lights, waiting for our partner to fall asleep, then turning on the iPad and skimming through Instapaper. The new version comes with adjustable brightness for night reading, so you can sneek a few articles in without waking up your bedmate.
Perhaps most interestingly, selecting text and tapping it now links out to Wikipedia, giving Instapaper more heft as a deep focus reading tool. Footnotes, which Mr. Arment uses liberally on his blog, are now also tap-activated pop-ups.
The social aspects of the reader are also enhanced. Instead of just showing stories liked by other Instapaper readers, the app can now display stories that appear on your Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr feeds.
There is also a search section for Instapaper subscribers, who pay $1 a month. This brings up links to any article ever saved to Instapaper, which should be a pretty rich resource given the vast amount of information that the service has archived over the last few years.