Don’t update your iPhone’s Instapaper to version 2.1

As many of you know, one of my favorite iPhone applications is Instapaper. I use it to read pretty much anything I don’t want to read when I find it on my computer—generally long essays from the New Yorker, Atlantic, and New York Review of Books. Unfortunately, the latest version of Instapaper Free is simply a downgrade masquerading as an upgrade. This version removes the ability to save your place if you quit the application while in the middle of reading a saved article. However, it has two other qualities that are far worse: it shows ads and it only allows you to keep your ten most recently saved articles on the iPhone. I’m still running the old version of Instapaper, and will continue to do so because it’s allowed me to save over 100 articles from the web to my phone. Whenever I need something to read, I just go to Instapaper. Some articles are months old, but I frequently dig into my archive for reading material, especially if it’s a long essay or short story from the New Yorker. I really like the old Instapaper and hope that I’ll be able to continue using it. If not, I guess I’ll go back to paper—that is the kind that comes from trees.

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8 Comments

  1. Patrick

    Dude! I wish I had read this yesterday. I just assumed it was better, so I “upgraded.”

    Is there any way to go back?

  2. Rick

    There’s a good chance that the old version is still on your computer somewhere. Search your computer for “Instapaper,” and look for a file ending in .ipa that is not version 2.1. (It may be in the trash.) If you’re able to find it, delete the current version from both your iPhone and iTunes. Then drag the old version into iTunes and sync.

    Unfortunately, I can’t post the file I have because I think it’s locked to my iTunes account.

  3. Phil Oye

    Uh, since you love the application so much, why not just buy the full version?

  4. Rick

    I did end up buying it, in support of the developer. However, I’m still using the old free version because I can’t bring myself to resync my massive archive of saved items with the new version.

  5. Dan

    Soooooo glad you posted this. I found the old version in my trash and restored it. I found your note on google after upgrading. I was wondering why the new version limited me to 10 articles.

    Thank you for revealing the mystery and providing a solution!!!

    Instapaper is a good app, but should cost $0.99. The new e-reader coming out of Apple will have this functionality built in and will likely make it’s way to the iphone for free.

    It pisses me off when app developers throw wrenches into upgrades to force people to pay. Sooooooo sleazy!!!!!

  6. bob

    i have version 2.0..is that the good one?

  7. Jay

    This app is well worth paying for.

  8. Tim

    “Instapaper is a good app, but should cost $0.99.”

    “It pisses me off when app developers throw wrenches into upgrades to force people to pay. Sooooooo sleazy!!!!”

    The developer is a one-man team doing it as a side job. He created what is arguably one of the most useful and universal iPhone apps on the market (everyone I know who enjoys reading *anything has this app on their phone).

    He has the right to charge a fair price for his app and earn the living he rightfully deserves from his excellent work. And he should.

    If he made the decision that the free app should be limited and have ads to encourage more people to upgrade to the Pro edition – how else could he have done it? There are no good solutions.

    And he can’t just add features to the Pro version to get more people to upgrade, because the beauty of the application is how useful yet laser-focused it is.

    I wish this post at the very least included a note about the Pro version.

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