Instapaper 3.0

Thursday night, Marco Arment released Instapaper 3.0. For a complete list of changes to 3.0, see the 3.0 release notes. Out of all the new features, I'm most a fan of its the new and improved sharing & social features. In previous versions, you had to know someone's Instapaper username in order to subscribe to their favorites folder. Many people did not want to share their usernames because Marco recently began requiring people to make their usernames their email address. In 3.0, a user is now able to search their address book, Twitter followers or Facebook friends, for other Instapaper users who have made their Instapaper profiles public. Once you've added some friends, you can go go to your friends' "liked" stream where you can see all the articles that your friends have liked. This makes finding quality articles very easy, depending on how picky you are when selecting the people you follow - and their taste in articles, of course. The new version release has not been without its own problems though. On the night of the release, Instapaper's servers suffered an outage. I am unclear about exactly what happened, but my guess is that due to everyone downloading 3.0 and re-syncing their entire article repository, it flooded the server with an amount of requests that it couldn't handle. Marco has since put new, beefier hardware in place that should be able to handle Instapaper's load now. Another problem that Marco has ran into is a vocal percentage of the user-base who is not as enthusiastic as I am about the new social features. Some complain about the UI changes with regards to the new social buttons. On the iPad app, I see no problem, but on the iPhone app the buttons are rather large and take up a lot of screen real-estate, shortening how many total articles you can see in your list. I can see, if you aren't a fan of these new features, how this would be frustrating. I agree that I think Marco could have implemented the bar a bit better on the iPhone than he did on the iPad, but thats just a minor issue for me (I also confess that I mainly use Instapaper on my iPad so it affects me less). Marco has expressed his frustration with how vocal this group of users has been and has promised an update which would allow them to turn these new features off. Overall I think Instapaper 3.0 is a very nice, major update, to an already indispensable app. Now that the server issues has been resolved, I'm sure Marco will iterate, as he always does, to refine the new Social UI and features. If you don't already have this app, then 1). what the hell is wrong with you?; 2). Have you been living under a rock for the past 2 years? Get this app now. You'll thank me later.