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04 Jun 12 Instapaper Releases Android App

Instapaper for Android launched today, adding to the growing list of iOS-turned-Android applications.

Developer Mobelux, which previously built Tumblr for iPhone and Android, was handpicked to create the new app, which is available today via Google Play for $2.99. It will work on devices running Android 2.1 and higher.

Instapaper allows users to save Web pages for later reading, keeping articles from your favorite websites stored offline and ready to read wherever you may not have access to data or Wi-Fi networks.

“Great for long articles and blog posts that you find during the day and would like to read, but don’t have the time when you find them,” the app’s Google Play Store description said.

Most websites can be saved as text-only, with adjustable fonts, text size, line spacing and margins; you can keep articles organized in folders, and share them via a Web browser.

The Android app release comes just days after the iOS app received an update, adding Background Update Locations to the 4.2.2 version. Instapaper now automatically downloads new articles whenever a user enters or leaves locations such as their home or workplace. The app stores the locations only within itself, and does not share them or send them to any web service, according to an Instapaper blog post.

The news was first reported by The Verge, which also talked to Instapaper creator Marco Arment, a known Apple fan. “Android is not in my world. It’s not in my attention span most days,” he told the blog. “Thinking about the iOS app is a full-time job, and staying competitive on iOS is a full-time job.”

Arment was inspired to explore an Android version of Instapaper thanks to the success of the Android-based Amazon Kindle Fire and the Barnes Noble Nook. “For me personally, Instapaper is now a tablet app first, and smartphone second,” he told The Verge.

Instapaper said the Android app was built “specifically for small tablets like Kindle Fire and Nook Color, large tablets like the Motorola Xoom as well as most Android phones running 2.1 (Eclair) and up.”

The Android app is expected to be available soon in the Amazon App Store and the Nook Store, Arment told The Verge.

For more, see PCMag’s original review of Instapaper for iOS and the slideshow below.

For more from Stephanie, follow her on Twitter @smlotPCMag.

View Slideshow
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Instapaper 2.2 : Main Screen

Instapaper 2.2 : Menu

Instapaper 2.2 : Dan Costa's Column

Instapaper 2.2 : Gibson Interview

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04 Jun 12 Exclusive: Instapaper for Android launches (hands-on)

“Android is not in my world. It’s not in my attention span most days. Thinking about the iOS app is a full-time job, and staying competitive on iOS is a full-time job.” This quote comes from Instapaper creator Marco Arment not even three weeks ago in an interview with Joshua Topolsky on On The Verge.

Evidently, Arment was keeping a pretty big secret. Instapaper for Android launches today for $2.99 on smartphones and tablets, and you can find it in the Google Play Store and soon in the Amazon App Store and Nook Store. What makes the app launch so significant is that aside from Instagram and Flipboard, Instapaper might just be the next-most-desired (and elusive) Android app ever. The excitement surrounding a possible Instapaper Android app has not been just because people wanted the app itself, but also because creator Arment often publicly expressed distaste for building on Android — almost out of principle. “I think it was the success of the Kindle Fire and the Nook that tipped my hand,” Arment told us.

So, he entrusted the Instapaper name to developer Mobelux, which has previously built Tumblr for iPhone and Android, as well as Carousel, a handsome Instagram viewer for Mac. Mobelux wasn’t the winner of the app-building challenge Arment started in jest, but was instead a great fit with a compatible heritage. Arment met Mobelux co-founder and Creative Director Jeff Rock all the way back in 2008 when Tumblr was in talks to buy Rock’s Tumblrette Tumblr client for iPhone. Arment (still full-time at Tumblr) got to know Rock and his team, who quickly became the backbone of Tumblr’s mobile app strategy.

After Arment’s scuffle online over the fiscal viability of building an Android app (and several years of hanging out with Mobelux at WWDC), he approached Rock and asked if he was interested in building an app for him. “[It] seemed like a perfect project to collaborate on,” Rock told me, so Instapaper for Android was born, a bit longer ago than you might think. But is the app any good? Read on to find out.

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