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Instapaper gets complete redesign after Betaworks purchase, new mobile apps soon

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Instapaper redesign
Instapaper redesign

Instapaper is in the midst of an overhaul. After being purchased by Betaworks this past April, the first major changes to the read-it-later service since creator Marco Arment gave up control of the app are here. The first part of the service to get an upgrade is the web interface, and it was arguably the section that needed an overhaul the most. Betaworks says that its team "focused initially on upgrading performance, improving reliability, and updating design," and the result is a complete "top-to-bottom redesign" of the interface. It now shares more in common with the mobile apps, with a navigation bar on the left and and overall simpler layout. The website redesign launched in beta earlier this month, and now it's available for all users. For more on the design, be sure to check out some more details at the official Instapaper blog, where an engineer has explained some of the design choices. The new UI is a welcome change, but the service remains largely text-only, with only minimal photo and video support compared to that found in popular competitors like Pocket.

There are also new iOS and Android Instapaper apps that should arrive "over the next few weeks," says Betaworks. They'll include recommendations, new ways to sort and filter unread items, and better file management while maintaining Instapaper's "no-nonsense functionality and minimalist design aesthetic," according to a Betaworks blog post. We've yet to get a look at either the new iOS or Android app, but the number of changes — and speed at which Betaworks is performing them — is impressive. The company made a similar development push after purchasing the nearly-defunct Digg in July.