Instapaper News App Review (iOS, $3.99)

  • Category: News
  • Publisher: Instapaper, LLC
  • Updated: Aug, 21 2008
  • Version: 5.1.4
  • Size: 17.17 MB

Languages: Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, Chinese, Turkish

Seller: Instapaper, LLC

* Fixed issue with background fetch

Customer Ratings

Current Version:
87 Ratings
All Versions:
7396 Ratings


Instapaper is the simplest way to save and store articles for reading: offline, on-the-go, anytime, anywhere, perfectly formatted.

Instapaper for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch provides a mobile-optimized Text view that makes reading Internet content a clean and uncluttered experience.

Instapaper Core Features:

- Save most web pages as text only, stripping away the full-sized layout to optimize for the iPhone and iPad screens.
- Store up to 500 articles on your iPhone or iPad, and store unlimited articles on the Instapaper website.
- Read offline, even on airplanes, subways, on elevators, or on Wi-Fi-only devices away from Internet connections.
- Send to Instapaper from 150 other iPhone and iPad apps.

Additional Features:

- Adjustable fonts, text sizes, line spacing, and margins
- Dark mode and brightness control for night reading
- Automatic Dark and Sepia Mode switching for sunset times in your location
- Sort your list of unread items by popularity, date, article length, and shuffle
- Filter your list of unread items by reading time

- Folders for organization
- Dictionary and Wikipedia lookups
- Tilt scrolling, page-flipping
- Share via email, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Pinboard, Evernote, or other supported apps
- Rotation lock
- Preview links in the built-in browser without leaving the app
- Search, via in-app purchase


- Featured by Apple many times in the App Store, including both the iPhone and iPad Hall of Fame
- Macworld Editor's Choice Award
- Featured in Wired, TIME, Daring Fireball, TechCrunch, PCMag, TUAW, The Next Web, and many other magazines, newspapers, and websites

Customer Reviews

  • Very Helpful App

    by John Burgoyne


  • Nice

    by Chartab

    Nice I have been looking over for this app ...

  • Awesome again!

    by Nelson Neuberger

    Now rivals Pocket again. The only thing missing is thumbnail previews of the article.

  • indispensable

    by howard.weaver

    I find this app truly indispensable, a go-to standard that keeps getting better. Great job. \-\/\/

  • Good but room for improvement

    by luvsevrything

    I started using Instapaper recently with the thought that I could separate my work & personal reading lists. So far, I have had no issue with syncing across platforms (Mac, iOS, Windows) or any loss of data. That said, I actually feel the reading interface is too clean. Unlike Pocket, which is my proffered app, Instapaper strips not just unnecessary formatting, but also images that supplements the articles I read and in several notable cases, fails to display the article's full text. It's also not intuitive how to switch between Web view and the "clean" view.

  • Beautiful interface, functional issues.

    by torchiere

    This app has the best interface of Read it Later style apps. Pocket is too hip and dependent on article images in both views, has no sorting options, and uses quite frustratingly a sans-serif in its list views — but it has everything and the kitchen sink and does it flawlessly. Instapaper, since my purchase of the year subscription, has gone down for five hours one night, has twenty articles that don’t properly show how many pages were read, and can barely handle anything but paragraphs of prose (tables, certain types of pages, PDFs, mathematical articles) and has no Full Page download. Despite the bugs I feel instapaper is the lesser of two evils. What is frustrating is that I don’t want to just _like_ Instapaper — I want Instapaper to be the best.

  • Images do not load

    by Alice Alarcon

    Images are not loading on this here app

  • Still great

    by foobarfoobarfoobar

    Coming back to Instapaper, it's still great, but what happened to the tilt scroll direction? Scrolling used to go in both directions, but now it only goes up, the least useful direction.

  • Awesome

    by SWT112233

    Just awesome.

  • Great app!!

    by Viktorinoxx

    This app is excelent for saving articles to read later, you can save fro your PC and from other apps in your iOS device.

  • I rely heavily on Instapaper and love the app

    by Snail Bat

    Keeps getting better!

  • Almost perfect

    by boney5000

    I absolutely love Instapaper. It's handy, and user friendly. I just wish users could search their saved items, and move those to a folder batch style. (You can organize your saved articles into folders, it just is a little more time consuming.) Still, Instapaper is a great app on both the iPhone and iPad.

  • This app keeps me out of jail

    by fringedweller

    I love this app. When I behind some idiot in line at the grocery store, I open this app and read. It prevents me from strangling someone by distracting me.

  • Usable but...

    by Anonymous Asa1n N1nja

    I personally use this app for debate purposes. However, is there any way to change the name of a folder you make or delete a folder altogether? Thank you.

  • Awesome, but

    by SWT112233

    Tilt-scrolling scrolls in the wrong direction. It doesn't make sense to scroll up when you tilt. It should scroll down, thus you don't have to touch the screen while reading. Please fix this ASAP. Or explain the feature to the user so they know how to use it.

  • Best news saver app.

    by Nytek123

    I use this mainly to save news to read later and it goes hand in hand with tweetbot. I love the clean simple design, intuitive layout, and integration with other apps. Instapaper is truly transparent and that's exactly I wanted out of this type of app.

  • The best

    by T3chnicolor

    One of my favorite apps and one of the best I have ever used on the iPhone. Everything works great. And it's still leagues better than Apple's silly implementation of Reading List.

  • Indispensable to my daily routine!

    by LarryDersch

    I have been using Instapaper for some years now, ever since my first iPad three years ago! Tried some of the others, pros and cons, but came back and stuck with Instapaper, mainly because I just though it was more elegant and readable. Recently I had a problem with syncing like many others (buggy updates do happen even with the best of apps), but like has been stated in another review, the customer service was quick, friendly (even though my inquiry may have been a bit testy), and I had my saved articles and folders restored within hours. And I learned a new feature besides! Offline reading is vital to me, and this app does everything I need, and with style to boot.

  • Needs improvement but hopeful

    by Stephen Erf

    Update2 - the 2nd delete & reinstall seems to have restored syncing on Air. Still wish delete option was at the bottom, not right next to move. Updating - version released on 1/15 does not sync on iPad Air at all. Deleted and reinstalled and problem continues. Recent changes disappoint - the addition of the delete option in the move button has led to multiple accidental deletion a (& no undo option); I don't want any filter by time(time of what? Whose time?); freezes and crashes. Still have hope it can be made workable and unwise choices in design reversed.

  • After delete and reinstall, back to its new normal

    by daverobeson

    Update, 1/24/14: My articles are back. Still would like more granular control over showing/hiding the UI chrome, but that's not an easy problem to solve. Still don't like the Delete button in the Share popover but I can live with it. ------ Update, 1/21/14: Well, it was nice while it lasted. Don't know quite what the new owners are doing (and I'm not sure they do either), but this app has become nearly unusable. Twice in the past week I've found my queue completely empty and it appears to be reloading but never does. (First time was on iPad, now on iPhone.) This, in addition to the recent changes in button placement and other UI issues, is forcing a change to Pocket. Needless to say, I won't be renewing my Instapaper subscription. -------- I think Instapaper is great. I use it multiple times a day and it's clear that Marco cares about producing and maintaining a quality product. There is some complaining going on here that has annoyed me enough I have to say something. 1) The "developer blocks sites" thing: It was one site, they said something that was kind of ambiguous but could have potentially become a legal problem, and Marco overreacted. He has said as much, reversed himself, and is obviously regretful about the whole thing. I'm sure he's going to think three or four times before he blocks another site (if indeed he ever does). 2) The removal of printing support. I can tell you as a programmer, sometimes a feature that's a nice-to-have and seems simple to implement can become a bear to maintain later. Devs have to prioritize their time; you can spend time keeping up a feature that very few people use, or you can spend it making the app better for everyone. This particular feature has a simple replacement: email yourself the full text and print it from email. 3) Subscriptions. Some users seem to think it's a requirement to subscribe. It's not. Unless you need to search your articles, you can ignore that completely. I don't generally use search, but I'm a subscriber because I want this product to live a long time and I've gotten waaaay more use out of it than my $4.99 would warrant. Also, I'm one of those users who saves way more articles than I can ever hope to have time to read, so I'm costing him in server space. :) I'm not connected to Marco in any way, just a fan of his app and his podcast who can't stand to see good apps unfairly one-starred.

  • Way behind the others now

    by zeroin123

    Used to be good, but others have surpassed it. Still no video support, making it useless as a one stop shop for saving stuff.

  • huge bugs!

    by iTvX

    very sad!

  • Once a classic, now just dated

    by slapasaurus

    Since Readability and Pocket came out, the category has become awfully crowded, and Instapaper has lost its lead. The parser often misses pages and footnotes. Most importantly, this app crashes more than anything else on my iPhone or iPad. Bells and whistles, new look and feel are great, but how about improving core of app?

  • Please fix ASAP

    by Instapaper v.

    Awful update. Please fix so the app does not crash upon launch. This is very basic.

  • Error

    by Wastee

    Formatting error occurs when saving articles. Margins now appear on both left and right instead of the text taking up the whole screen.

  • Just Embarassing

    by Crad3446875

    At least once a week the app loses my content and I have to delete it to get it back. Informed support team numerous times, no fix. It's embarrassing that basically every third party app that uses the subscriber API is better than the standard one. Truly embarrassing.

  • Crashes on launch

    by Pughggg

    Worked well for years but now I can't use it at all

  • Crashes on launch

    by The T2

    Since the last update, Instapaper crashes on launch, every time. Used to be great.

  • Used to be the best

    by zenmatt

    Recent updates are terribly buggy - what's going on?

  • Broke!

    by VagabondFranz

    As the other reviewers say, Instapaper crashes immediately when I open it on my 5. Fix it and let me love it again!

  • Major syncing issues

    by showtime97

    Basically useless at this point. Switching to Pocket...

  • Won't open

    by hillter

    Like others, my app won't open. Don't want to lose all of my articles. Please fix this bug ASAP!

  • Won't sync iPad update

    by Ixnayx51

    Works fine after you delete and re-download the app ... Works fine on my phone, but it's completely empty on my iPad now.

  • Solid App!

    by David Cutter

    Clean and very functional!

  • Outstanding App

    by BryanWake

    Once you get used to the settings and user interface, Instapaper becomes a must have app for anyone looking to save webpages for offline viewing. The developer gives clear and precise instructions on how to link Instapaper to your Safari favorites for a simple one-touch save. Once Instapaper has installed, go to the Settings options on the bottom of the home page then navigate to the 'How to Save' option. From there you can scroll through a short list of save options and decide which one works best for you. This really is a convenient app to own and has made my iPad a lot more functional when offline.

  • Problem with update

    by NexusNate

    The latest update crashes before opening proper on my iPad mini Retina. I love Instapaper, but this is an oversight I can't overlook. This needs to be fixed ASAP. I hate giving poor reviews, but something has to get the attention of the developer.

  • Love this app!

    by brycebolt

    Use this app daily. Can't imagine life without it now.

  • Great way to save content you want to read later

    by mjriley

    A great way to save content from a number of sources so you can read it later. Great product.

  • Best ever

    by Calprnce

    Great app, great service. Have been using this for longer than I can remember, and I couldn't be happier. :)

  • The best of them all. Period!

    by Ansk

    An update: The current problems are easily resolved by deleting and then reinstalling the app. This will fix what was wrong with the previous version. It may be a pain to do, but well worth the efforts. I would suggest that if you run into problems, do email their support. They have excellent response times and are always quick with suggestions on getting things up and running well. I've been an Instapaper subscriber for quite some time and find it an indispensable part of my day! ---begin earlier review I've got Readability and Read It Later as well as Instapaper and Instapaper beats them both. I would rate the others with four stars, though. Instapaper just feels better, allows for saving articles in folders and has a wide variety of fonts and styles to choose from. I've also fund that it saves web pages a bit better than the others.

  • Crashes on launch

    by Fanboi1234

    Literally worthless. The fact that when you go to "all reviews" all the rave reviews are from the Marco era is telling. They've really screwed the pooch with the last two updates.

  • Completely changed my reading habits for the better

    by GITShell

    This app, all by itself, changed how I read web content. I started using it a few years ago when I first got an iPhone and I'm amazed that it is still the best of its genre by far.

  • Non-functional

    by Axodys

    Hadn't checked Instapaper on my phone in a while and shocked to discover no articles available in my Read Later queue after the latest update. See evidence of a sync attempt as articles flash by, but nothing shows up and eventually the app crashes. Disappointing direction for a once solid app.

  • Favourite app...

    by mujalifah

    ... But crashes constantly right now. Hope this is sorted out soon.

  • Current version doesn't sync

    by Nelson Minar

    Basically useless, crippling bug.

  • Crashes on open

    by Andrewmg

    Current version crashes right after displaying the article list on a retina iPad mini. Same version, with same account, works fine on an iPhone 5s.

  • Crashes upon open

    by Aleman1322

    Latest update immediately crashes upon opening. Have tried restarting multiple times to no avail. iPhone 5S running latest iOS 7.

  • no scrolling

    by Barry in San Diego

    tilt scrolling completely non working after this update

  • Whither Instapaper

    by bwardrop

    It used to be my favorite app. Now it only works half the time. Betaworks has ruined this app. Instapaper used to be rock solid when Marco ran the show. Now it can't sync articles. Looking for a replacement.

  • Just google it instead

    by jmparra7

    I was excited to use this app but you must scroll through all the articles until you find one you like, I upgraded to a monthly subscription for $2.99 so I could use the search feature but this brought up no articles. I was hoping to use this to find topics I was interested in but doesn't seem there is a way to filter through the articles by topic at all. Google would be much more useful for anyone that wants to read articles that interest them.

  • Long time fan, great app

    by shortstop

    This is a fantastic service and application for the mobile user. Save articles for later, share them, read them without ads, from any device, web browser, etc. I highly recommend it, the developers making it, and enjoy using it.

  • Broken app

    by N-girl

    Last update just emptied my (huge!) Read Later list and it refuses to sync and reload. Yes, I've tried reloading all articles, killing app and restarting iPhone. InstapaperHelp suggested reinstalling the app but that doesn't help. Goodbye Instapaper, you've been good before Marco decided to sell you.

  • Disappointing

    by markepstein

    This used to be one of my most essential and dependable apps. It's fallen so far behind Pocket, that all I can say is that it's a disappointment. Initial sync is slower than Pocket and unreliable; many articles end up having to be downloaded manually. It crashes occasionally. And data takes up an enormous amount of space. Before the new ownership, data took up less space than Pocket, which remains in the hands of the original developer and is faster and more efficient than ever. Luckily, with a simple IFTTT recipe, I can send everything I send to IP automatically to Pocket, so lack of support in an app for Pocket isn't an issue. One of IP's advantages is near universal use in by apps, which isn't quite as good for Pocket--yet. And Pocket supports tags, while IP only has folders. I still love IP, but the iOS app and website have really fallen behind. Please catch up, so I don't have have to defect completely.

  • A hall of fame iOS app

    by skjolly

    I use this app all the time on my iPhone and iPad. It was great when @marcoarment developed it, but the new team has made significant improvements to the app, especially filters and sorting. An app I recommend all the time.

  • No background Sync?

    by dave-dave-dave

    I'm disappointed that Instapaper still doesn't support iOS 7's background syncing capability.

  • The best out there

    by Maximiliano9

    So glad to see the recent updates. However, I would like to see the old dark theme return. The black theme is great for certain uses, but a dark theme can bridge the gap between black and light.

  • Amazing app

    by Robcaraway

    I've tried some of the competitors and none of them were as easy to use. Instapaper is priceless.

  • Best "Read Later" app on the market

    by mikekearn

    I've tried a lot of apps that are supposed to help save things for later browsing, including Apple's built in tools. None come even close to the ease of use and functionality of Instapaper. It is hands down one of my most used apps, and I can't even imagine trying to top it. Everyone should have this app.

  • The Best News App

    by Notachance012

    Definitely worth the money!

  • Useless

    by Aldo Nagy

    Don't waste your time. Useless.

  • Reason to buy an iPhone or iPad

    by ToddPDX

    I use this app every single day and have seen nothing but outstanding updates and innovation from Marco and now from Automaticc. If you like to have "Something to read" that's not the inflight magazine, IP lets you fill your device with all that stuff you really want to read later. You should buy it even if you never use it, just because you are rewarding astoundingly clean user interface and respect for the user experience. New version 5.0 makes connecting and finding Long Reads easier than ever. Social networking? It's baked in. Take 10 minutes to understand the app and the Read-Later Process. You'll get those minutes back over and over.

  • Best app I've ever purchased

    by Atomatica

    Consistently my most used app.

  • Best

    by Yodagu

    The best on what it does! Reading later is great.

  • Solid, feature smart killer app

    by Disa Johnson

    I rarely spend the time for distractions anymore thanks to Instapaper features that can smartly collect stuff distilled into pure content. With send to Kindle configured I really just relegate virtually anything that catches my eye to the IP pile and stay busy doing what I'm doing. That is made possible by the solid performance of this app. I get a serotonin hit simply seeing the word ...SAVED

  • Too many glitches

    by 稀饭小三儿

    The article is not cleanly cut, and you always need to manually ask it to redownload the articles. About to give up.

  • Horrible

    by Dukeboz

    I've had this app since 2012 and it worked great, but since the last update it's worthless. It does not save the text or images content. Very frustrated at having something you paid for not work ever!!

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