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App Review

May 24, 2011

Kick Some App

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Written by: Tim Adkins
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Instapaper and FLUD

App: Instapaper
Tower Rating: 4 out of 5 Towers
by Joshua Trent

The day a friend told me about the wonders of Instapaper was the day I began using Instapaper every single day. This is not an app that you will buy and forget that you have, left to be unused in an ambiguously named folder on the fourth page of apps on your phone.

Do you remember all the articles that you wish you had had time to read, but weren’t able to finish at the time? No, you don’t – and now you don’t have to. Instapaper is the perfect app for avid readers who find articles they’d love to read all of the time, but never have the time to read them.

Instapaper allows users to easily download articles and read them in the app later, with or without 3G or Wi-Fi coverage. From within the app, you can also post articles to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or Evernote. Instapaper is also great for those who use a couple of different devices for reading, as users can save an article for later on their computer, start reading it on their iPad, and then post it on Twitter from their iPhone.

Why This Kicks App

There are tons of great features in the app. It has a built-in dictionary, you can change fonts and font sizes, there’s a great “night” setting so you can read in bed at night without being blinded, tilt scrolling allows users to continue down the article by just tilting their phone, you can follow friends on Instapaper to see articles that your friends “liked,” and a ton of other awesome things.

The only catch is Instapaper isn’t free, and, in the world of apps, $4.99 is a little pricey. So, if you’re not sure whether you’re ready to make the investment, talk to a friend who already uses Instapaper, and listen to them tell you about how they couldn’t live without it. Then spend the $4.99. You won’t regret it.

Tower Rating: 4 out of 5
by Tim Adkins

By now you’ve probably heard of some of the wonderful iPad apps that aggregate your favorite news and magazine sites into one, easily accessible location like Flipbook, Pulse or FLUD. I don’t have an iPad, so I can’t tell you which is best. However, FLUD recently released it’s free iPhone app, and, I have to say, it’s quite impressive.

FLUD advertises itself as the “News Eco System,” which is fairly accurate to what it is. In the past, I flooded folders with different news sources and magazine apps, and I no longer have to do that. Now, through RSS feeds, they all go to one place, and they look and feel great all at the same time. And you don’t have to pinch to zoom to read articles anymore. All the content and images are loaded relatively quickly and precisely with each refresh. This is especially helpful when you’re on the treadmill trying to catch up on the day’s news or local events. You can just swipe from publication to publication with a fluid-like motion—which is pretty nice.

Why this Kicks App

Simply put, FLUD works. I’ve tried other readers like Pulse for my iPhone, but I didn’t like the user interface and it took forever to load new articles. With FLUD, everything looks good, and I can use it for all of my article reading needs—from importing my Google Reader feeds to sharing content on Facebook and Twitter. I can also sync my Instapaper account with FLUD and save stories I’d like to read later. And, with FLUD, I can “Love” articles, which get saved in a separate folder so that I can refer back to them in the future.

About the Author

Tim Adkins
Tim Adkins
Tim is the publisher of iSPY and co-founder of Pakmode Media + Marketing. He's a social, vegetarian geek who recently welcomed a beautiful baby girl into his family. For any questions or suggestions in regards to design, ad sales, web, content or anything at all related to iSPY, Tim's your guy.

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