Replacing Instapaper

As time passes and EU-based users find themselves waiting in vain on word from Instapaper's owners, our thoughts inevitably turn towards replacing Instapaper:

I chose Pinboard, not because it is the most slick service - it is very minimalist - but because it works, and for everything I read, it will likely be there for as long as I pay them to be.

The thing is, Pinboard is terrific at storing and organising a list of bookmarks, but that's only part of what Instapaper was good for: it's the other half of the process - the seamless storage of articles so that my queue of unread items was available (offline if I wanted it) to read at a moment's notice - that I'm missing. As far as I can see, the solution the linked article proffers, ReadPaperback, is entirely an online solution to the reading-a-stripped-back-to-readable-text-version-of-an-article problem that Instapaper used to solve so nicely for me.[note]I know that Safari offers Reading List, but I often want to access articles as lunchtime when I'm at work, where I'm well away from the Apple ecosystem and I find myself using an extension-less, well out of date version of Firefox under Windows 10 to do my reading.[/note] Perhaps that's the best we can do in Instapaper's absence, but it's not really solving the problem I wanted solved.

The prolonged silence from Instapaper's current owners makes me wonder what, precisely, they were doing with our Instapaper user accounts that a) was at risk of bringing down the wrath of the GDPR on them, and b) made their lawyers think that it would be as well not to allow EU users anywhere within a mile of their service.

[Via The Overspill]


  1. And not Pocket because?? (Just curious, I’ve been using Pocket for ages and UI aside, it offers same stripped back reading experience)

  2. I’m aware of Pocket, but somehow after so many years of using Instapaper ands listening to Instapaper’s creator Marco Arment across his various podcasts I’ve come to think of Pocket as a slightly vulgar Instapaper imitator that was trying to gain market share through having VC backing and deep pockets rather than actually being superior to Instapaper in any way that I cared about, so up until recently Instapaper was doing the job I wanted it to and there was no reason to revisit the issue..

    Now that Instapaper is effectively unusable in the EU I might just have to cast off all that negativity and give Pocket a try. (I realise that if I had any sense I’d have switched to Pocket the second that Instapaper started blocking EU users, but I did hope that was destined to be just a very temporary hiatus..)

    Thanks to the two of you for the reassurance that Pocket is at least tolerably worthwhile. Looks like it’s time for a trip to the App Store.

  3. So, Pocket installed successfully on my iPad and so far looking good. I’m giving serious consideration to upgrading to the paid version, but I think I should show some restraint before adding yet another software subscription to my collection: I’ll give Pocket a week before deciding for sure whether I want to send some money their way. (I do, though. I very definitely do.)

  4. Just a quick note to say that now that Instapaper is under new ownership they appear to be accepting input from EU users again. I do slightly prefer Instapaper’s take on clutter-free web content (though to be fair this may simply be a combination of nostalgia and force of habit), so while I’m happy to have used Pocket I think that for the time being I’ll be returning to Instapaper. It’s good to know that a workable alternative is out there, should Instapaper falter at some future point. We’ll see what we’ll seeā€¦

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