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Instapaper on the Kindle

Instapaper on KindleI was extremely fortunate and surprised to get an Amazon Kindle as a graduation gift. Apparently after you’ve earned an undergraduate degree, people assume you can read!

I have also been a big fan of Instapaper for a while. Instapaper is a web service that lets you bookmark websites for reading later. What makes it unique, though, is that it will format the pages into text-only pages, perfect for mobile devices and clean reading. Saving pages is accomplished through a javascript bookmarklet that works in your desktop web browsers as well as mobile browsers that support javascript. To make things even better, there is now an Instapaper iPhone/Touch native application (free and pro versions [iTunes links]) that will cache unread webpages onto the device’s internal memory. I made great use of this feature while traveling in Boston’s subways over the summer. I’d often lose my cell signal, but I still had plenty of content to catch up on.

It dawned on me that Instapaper would be a perfect application for the Kindle. The Kindle’s screen is a complete pleasure to read on for extended periods of time, unlike the small iPhone screen. Also, the free EVDO data connection lets it take advantage of web services anywhere you can get a Sprint signal. I did a quick Google search to see what I could find about Instapaper on the Kindle and came across a great blog post on spontaneousderivation.com. If you leave the Kindle’s browser in standard mode, you can take advantage of Instapaper’s great mobile device interface, with simple text formatting and quick loading. However, if you set the Kindle browser into the advanced mode, you get an extremely nicely formatted Instapaper index page. Clicking on the “text” link in Instapaper for an article delivers a fast and clean copy of the web article. It really is a perfect match.

Even more exciting, the developer of Instapaper, Marco Arment, has plans to further optimize Instapaper for the Kindle once he can get his hands on one himself. I’m looking forward to it.

I hope this helps any Kindle owners wondering how to best read web content through the Kindle’s slow and limited web browser.

Chris Owens

2 Comments

  1. Thanks for that reminder Josh, I’ve updated the post with the correct carrier. (Back in the day I heard EVDO and just assumed Verizon. My bad)

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