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Instapaper

I’ve written on AppStorm before about how much I love Pinboard, a bookmarking service that allows you to privately collect and tag webpages for easy access later. Pinboard is one of those services that sounds completely ridiculous — until you try it. It’s a great service, and its developer, Maciej Ceglowski, is truly dedicated to improving it and keeping it consistently up.

As many people know, the service can also operate as a great Read Later service. You can mark webpages as unread. Pinboard tags them as such, and you can catch up later on the Web or with your favourite Pinboard app of choice. Until recently, there weren’t any apps designed to make Pinboard a true Read Later service in the same vein as Instapaper. With Paperback, we finally have a Pinboard Read Later client focused purely on the reading experience.

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I love Instapaper. I’ve used the bookmarklet web app before I had an iOS device to read from, even when the web interface was — admittedly — rather ugly. But it still made reading longform articles much nicer than reading on most websites, especially back in 2009.

I tried the original Read it Later, and then gave Readability a shot. Pocket came along, and I dismissively tried it and left it behind, returning each time to the familiarity of Instapaper. I liked the service, Marco’s stand on how he ran his businesses, and — most of all — I loved discovering new articles in Instapaper from The Feature and Instapaper’s deceptively simple built-in social network.

All the while, Pocket kept adding features and improving its service, while Instapaper stayed the same — good, but not moving forward. The more I heard about it, the more I knew I had to give it a more serious try. With Instapaper being sold to Betaworks, it seemed like the perfect time to give its chief competitor a shot.

So I jumped over the fence to see if the grass was truly greener on the other side. (more…)

You’ve heard people debate for years the merits of Macs versus Windows PCs, with the occasional Linux user letting you know why they’d use neither. Nowadays, it’s much more common to hear people debating the merits of iOS versus Android, with the faint chance of hearing someone stick up for Windows Phone or Blackberry. Most apps don’t attract anywhere near this level of loyalty.

One category of apps does seem to attract a rather loyal following, though: reading apps. Popularized by smartphones and tablets, apps that let you save articles to read later, anytime, have become increasingly popular. Instapaper and Read it Later (which was just rebranded as Pocket) have lead the category for years, with Readability, Evernote’s Clearly, and even Safari’s Reading List mode joining the fray.

I’m personally an Instapaper fan, and use its app all the time to catch up on my online reading. It’s especially great on an iPad, but even from the browser, it’s a great way to read anytime. What’s your favorite way to save articles to read later? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Sometimes it seems that writing is more important today than it’s ever been in history. From Facebook status updates to txt messages, we’re all writing and reading almost more than we’re talking and listening. And while the internet has hastened print media’s troubles, many of us still read tons of text online weekly.

Whether you’re reading news articles, a great longform story, or a review of a new app here at the AppStorm network, sometimes the internet just isn’t the best place for thoughtful reading. From small font sizes to cluttered layouts, the web often takes the joy out of reading. Here’s some of the best ways to make your online reading experience better no matter where you’re reading.

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We’ve all done it: you read an interesting article, and plan to share it with your friends or just for your own reference later. The next day, we think of it again, and can’t find where in the world the article was. Was that on AppStorm or Engadget? Or was it CNN? No, wait: maybe it was New Yorker.

So you promise yourself, next time, you’ll be more careful to bookmark stuff you want to save. Then, you bookmark it at the office, only to find that you’re trying to remember it when you’re out at lunch and only have your iPhone.

Online bookmarking is the best solution for this, but it’s usually too much trouble to click through 3 or 4 links just to save a small bookmark. What if your bookmarking tool could do the heavy lifting for you, so your favorite stuff online would be bookmarked automatically without so much as a thought? Pinboard, the increasingly popular bookmarking web app, includes a number of tools to automate bookmarking, so keep reading to see how it can automatically archive your favorite sites without you remembering to do anything special.

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Long ago, when writing material was scarce and Gutenberg was perfecting his printing press, one could easily complain that there was not enough content to read. Books where cherished and even newspapers were stored to be read and reread months later. In today’s gadget crazed world, where nearly 500 tweets are sent each second and 500,000 new posts are published on WordPress.com each day, there’s way more material written in just one day now than we’ll ever read in our whole lifetime. No longer can it be said that there’s nothing to read!

With this torrent of content rushing past us each day, how in the world can you keep yourself productive? Your friend emails you an interesting article, then you see a tweet about a company that just raised $100 zillion in funding, and then you remember to check Google News for the latest headlines. Before you know it, you’ve wasted your whole day clicking and reading links. There’s got to be a better solution, and that’s where Instapaper and similar apps come in.

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