A real Instapaper highlight

When every morning I scroll through the overwhelming list of articles that have piled up on my RSS list, there's always something that has to be saved to read later. You share, your tweet something interesting, and those longer articles too long to read with your morning coffee have to go somewhere.

This has been my morning routine for years. I have stopped reading and subscribed to new blogs, changed the RSS apps I use plenty of times and even had to choose a new syncing service when Google Reader died. What hasn't changed at all is the way I keep the articles I want to save to read later. I Instapaper them.

Although Betaworks has now taken the responsibility to support the Instapaper project, the team hasn't done anything too radical that alienates long time users — that I could think of — deviating from the original idea devised by Marco Arment. The new flow of fresh ideas plus some developing muscle is evident in the new improved website version, making the idea of a desktop client sound less and less exciting. By the way, if your haven't yet, you should really check it out. Betaworks is doing some of the cleanest dynamic web design.

Aside from under the hood improvements and some tweaks (including the proper parsing of this blog), the new Instapaper team is now ready to introduce a new feature, which happens to be a favourite of mine.

Today, we’re happy to announce that we’ve shipped text highlighting across all of our platforms — iOS, Android, and web! Now you can just select some text and choose the “Highlight” option to save those great quotes you find while reading.

Instapaper Tumblr - Introducing Highlights

Any Kindle user who likes to tap on words to look up the meaning will have already discovered this. After all, Instapaper is the best friend of your Kindle Paperwhite. Dragging your finger slowly on a sentence brings the option to highlight a full selection, much like using a marker. The cool thing here is that your Kindle keeps a list of all the highlighted excerpts, sentences and paragraphs keeping links to the original source content. Of course, this stuff is synched across devices. The applications of highlighting for studying, research and creative writing are superb — hence my persistence requesting it to Betaworks. It turns out a lot of people had this idea too!

There's been some talk about the way the developer has decided to monetise a product feature, basically differentiating those who just paid once to download the app and the few who went for a subscription. If you are like me, you'll need to go to the revamped Instapaper settings to realise that at some point in the last five years you decided to contribute to the active development and server support with some extra payment. It's $3 for 3 months.