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Instapaper Receives Update With New Features, But You Probably Can’t Afford It

instapaper android

Instapaper, the uber popular iOS “reader it later” app, received a major update on Android today. I’m still not sure why people wouldn’t go with the free and equally as impressive Pocket for their “read it later” app of choice. But choices are never a bad thing, even if the developer thinks Android is the slums of the mobile Earth, will never match the polish of iOS, and that you probably can’t afford his app. He would like to thank you all for your support, though, because you’ve helped make updates like this possible. 

Here is the list of new goodies and tweaks:

  • Scroll by full pages (Pagination)
  • The Feature (editor recommended articles)
  • Scroll by tilting
  • Sepia Mode
  • In-line Footnotes
  • Bug fixes
  • Performance improvements

Play Link ($2.99)

  • http://www.appleoutsider.de/ AppleOutsider.de – Sebastian P

    So all in all you don’t like the guy because he talks bad about Android and that the platform isn’t good for developers and to show him that he’s right you don’t buy the app.

    Got it.

    • http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Tascar Tascar

      So the Android fans and I should pay for an app that is far worse than the competition on Android just to try to convince an Apple troll that the Google Play Store is profitable?

      Got it.

      I and the Android fans I know are more than willing to plop down money for apps and have done it plenty of times. But as I see it, to pick up Instapaper on Android for any reason other than that you have tons of content already stored on Instapaper through previous versions simply proves that you are unable to properly evaluate the quality of apps and is willing to buy an app that is inferior to the competition.

      • http://www.appleoutsider.de/ AppleOutsider.de – Sebastian P

        Quite frankly yes. You should buy the App to show him that you have plenty of money and that he is wrong.

        That would be voting with your wallet.

        I know it’s unfair to you and your community of people who have money readily available but quite frankly it’s kind of funny that you first attack Arment based on the way he talked about your beloved platform, because you feel he kind of talked down on you. A complete ad hominem attack. Instead of arguing his points you basically only attack HOW he says something.

        You didn’t buy the Instapaper App and talk about it based on second hand information. And because you know that that is plain and straight wrong you take that bad concious for doing so and turn it around on others who actually bought Instapaper on Android – you know, people like me who actually switched over from iOS. People who actually know what they are talking about.

        And the kicker? You accuse someone like me who bought Instapaper both on Android and on iOS of NOT trying out Pocket – a software that is FREE.

        I mean you can’t be serious. OF COURSE I have Pocket installed and tried it out to find out if it is any better. You take that whole thing YOU didn’t do and turn it around on others. I assume because you know what you are talking about – I have to give it to you, it’s always a good idea to talk about the things you know about.

        Seriously, you sound like someone who pirates movies. There’s always a reason not to buy something. Either it’s the people who are in the movie, the publisher, maybe it’s the plot or whatever. Of course you COULD put your money where your mouth is but hey, maybe the packaging would hurt your fingers when you try to open it or something.

        I am still baffled by that last sentence you wrote. Buying software means that I am unable to evaluate the quality of apps. You sir are a riot.

        • http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Tascar Tascar

          As I look to my right, I see my DVD copies of both the theatrical and extended versions of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and to my left the CD box sets of the films’ complete scores. If I opened up the iPad next to me, I would find a copy of the trilogy as well that I bought through the iTunes Store for access on the go. If I went to the living room, I would see the Blu-ray versions of the extended versions and if I went into the basement, I would find my copies of the original soundtrack releases and the soundtrack to The Hobbit. While I have thus far been talking about The Lord of the Rings movies, you would find plenty of Blu-rays, DVDs, laserdiscs, and VHS tapes, CD soundtracks, of other movies, TV series, anime, etc. that I enjoy and appreciate throughout my house.

          So while you launch an ad hominem attack on me, accusing me of piracy, I just wanted to let you know that it is dangerous to assume things and you couldn’t be more wrong about me here. I buy things that I like and I am even more than willing to buy it twice or more if there are reasons. I won’t even buy used video games on principle because I want my money to go to the developers. Granted, technically you are right to call me a pirate though because I dressed up as Captain Hook one year for Halloween. I am more than willing to open up my wallet and shell out money if said product or cause is worth me doing so.

          Simply put, I don’t think that Marco Arment deserves my money. In my initial post, I made it clear that I disagreed with a great many of his points on Android, I did not like the type of discourse he uses in his punditry don’t like that he cherry-picks evidence to prove his points so I fail to see how I made an ad hominem attack. In a response elsewhere in this article, I elaborated on what I felt was a massive hole in his reasoning, i.e. which is that much of his “proof” seems to be examples where an iOS developer enters Android very late and does not make money because of competition that was not late. If I did not go into further details it is because I did not want to make my responses too long, like this one. If you want to debate specific points of his and get into more details of my dislike of his ideas, then let’s do it.

          With regards to Instapaper, I made it very clear to you that I think there is a valid and understandable reason why people who use Instapaper elsewhere and are already locked in would be justified in picking up Instapaper on Android. I am sure that you and the other iOS to Android converters have done so and are happy. However, I do not think that Marco Arment entered Android to please converters (a recent Twitter post of his suggests that he believes those people are few and far between) and so my points on Instapaper was talking about the rationale for an Android user who does not have a history with Instapaper to either buy it instead of use the free Pocket or switch from Pocket. I should even point out that Marco Arment himself stated that he was making the Android version to take advantage of the new people buying 7-inch Android tablets.

          So you say that I don’t have any right to make a statement on Instapaper for Android because I didn’t buy it. But that’s like saying that I have no right to argue that crystal meth is bad for you because I have not tried it myself and I only have second-hand information from medical sources and journals to back up my claim. In this particular case, I should point out that I actually have Instapaper on my iPad and so I know what it is and what it has in terms of features. I am also familiar with Pocket on Android. It is true that I did not buy Instapaper for Android but I am familiar enough with the iOS version and Pocket for Android that when I read about the features that are missing and certain bugginess, I feel that I am capable of accurately judging the comparative merits of Instapaper on Android with Pocket on Android who aren’t already locked into Instapaper like you seem to be. Simply put, as of the day that Instapaper launched on Android, I really fail to see how the typical user who is not already locked into Instapaper should pick it over Pocket. To say that I don’t know enough to talk about the merits of the Android version is ridiculous.

          And again, I don’t see what message I would be sending with my wallet by buying Instapaper for Android other than that I am willing to buy an app that I do not think is as good as the competition especially if I am not locked into Instapaper as part of my daily routine. I show with my wallet my willingness to pay for things I find to be worthwhile all of the time. I do not feel I need to do it for an app that I have good enough reasons to not do so just to prove a naysayer.

          The point and purpose of my last sentence should be more than obvious if you don’t take it out of the context of the rest of my response and the article as a whole. The primary claim that Arment is making is that the Play Store is not good for developers and while elsewhere in this article’s responses you were pulling up stats on country availability, the crux of Arment’s claims on his podcast, Twitter, and blog is not about country availability but that this is because Android users are cheap and do not care to pay for quality. And as I illustrated, Instapaper’s performance in the Play Store does not say anything about this point because in the Android ecosystem, Instapaper is arguably not of higher quality than the competition. In the iOS world, there is plenty of disagreement on whether Pocket or Instapaper is better and in the Android world, Pocket has been here longer and addressing and working on the needs of Android users while Instapaper only just entered with an app that is less feature complete than the iOS version. So if Arment is going to claim that Instapaper not doing well on Android is proof that the Play Store sucks for developers, then I would say that the only thing it proves is that Android users are better able to detect and judge quality than iOS users.

          • http://www.appleoutsider.de/ AppleOutsider.de – Sebastian P

            Oh boy.

            Sorry but there’s so much wrong with your comment I don’t really consider it to be worth talking to you anymore. Just a few hints

            1.) Arment never said that Android users are cheap. Not ONCE. Not on his 108 episode podcast, not on his blog. Just like the article you fail to proove that and just make stuff up
            2.) Saying you act like a pirate doesn’t even mean I accused you of piracy. What’s next? I tell you you act like an idiot in this discussion and you show me your highschool diploma?

            Sorry but you are clearly argumentally challenged. You both fail to understand what I argue and you fail to understand what constitutes a good counter-argument. It’s as if I was talking to someone about the weather and have to explain the principle of sunshine.

            So excuse me but I’m not going to further this any longer. I feel as if I am taking candy away from a child.

          • http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Tascar Tascar

            The point is, instead of challenging my points with counterexamples, you just pivoted to a new point or ad hominem attacks.

            I argued that Instapaper for Android is simply not worthwhile compared to the competition for anyone who is not locked into Instapaper for iOS and instead of arguing otherwise with specifics, you accused me of not having the information to make that claim without knowing anything about me and you then insinuated that I was just lying about being willing to buy apps and that I am a pirate.

            Perhaps it is this last point that is the reason why you simply aren’t willing to see and realize that Marco Arment has trash talked Android and its users to a degree and intensity where it is perfectly understandable why people might not want to buy his app, regardless of its merits. I’ll accept for now your claim that Marco Arment did not say the words “Android users are cheap” (although I am fairly sure that he has at some point) given that I am not willing to listen through all of Marco Arment’s podcast appearances just to prove this. But regardless, Marco Arment definitely used insinuation to all but say that, and using lawyering of words to give himself an out in case he was called out on it, in the same way that you used insinuation to all but say that I was a pirate but are now claiming that you didn’t.

            When Marco Arment says: “It’s a very common user mindset: they tolerate a lot of limitations, ads, and nags to avoid paying. It’s not that they’re cheap, per se: they just really don’t believe that apps are worth paying for, and they feel cheated or defeated if they end up needing to pay for one.,” which pretty much says that such users are in fact cheap, and then later in the article suggest “Maybe a significantly larger percentage of Android users insist on free apps than iOS users (it certainly seems that way).,” it’s not hard to combine this bit of information with Marco Arment’s constant dismissals of Android and its users and realize that he is calling Android users cheap. (http://www.marco.org/2012/04/24/might-upgrade-someday)

            When Marco Arment talks about how the market for a paid quality App.net client by talking about how the users are “big-spending…early adopters” who will pay “good money” for a premium quality app and then ends the blog with an unrelated dig at Android “See also: why developers tend to make so much more money on iOS than on Android, despite the Android installed base being significantly larger.,” it’s not hard to see why Android fans are insulted and it’s not hard to see how Marco Arment just called Android users cheap and undiscerning of quality. (http://www.marco.org/2012/09/06/developer-math)

            When you end a section in your blog marked “Undesirable customers” talking about customers that give bad reviews to apps and don’t want to pay for apps with “(This is also a major reason why I have no plans to enter the Android market.),” it’s not hard to see what he is saying about Android users. (http://www.marco.org/2011/04/28/removed-instapaper-free)

            Finally, when Marco Arment releases a dumbed-down product years late into a market which he has trashed and continues to trash and then responds to its poor performance with “I said for years that I didn’t think Android would be very profitable. Then I tried it. I was right. What part was arrogant?” it is obvious that he is just out to get Android and blaming Android instead of his choice to delay his entry by years. (https://twitter.com/marcoarment/status/291341809580400640)

            Marco Arment can choose to claim that he doesn’t hate Android but that claim goes against the evidence of what he has said and written.

            Next time you talk to me, address my points instead of resorting to straw man arguments.

          • http://www.appleoutsider.de/ AppleOutsider.de – Sebastian P

            So Arment literally says “Which does not mean they are cheap per se” and your interpretation is “They are cheap”.

            Let’s just say we have a different opinion of what words mean. Like “per se”.

            http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/per_se

            It’s the same as your understanding of me saying “You sound like someone who pirates software”.

            Or what “literally” means.

            I really get the feeling that English isn’t your first language. I mean it isn’t mine either but honestly this is getting ridiculous.

            if it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, talks like a duck I guess to you that means it’s a horse as long as it doesn’t have feathers.

          • http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Tascar Tascar

            So Arment literally says “it’s not that they’re cheap, per se” and then follows it up with a bunch of adjectives and qualities that pretty much scream “cheap cheap cheap.” and I am not supposed to read that as “Android users are cheap?”

            That’s like me saying: “I’m not saying you are stupid, I am just saying that you are an idiot and unintelligent.”

          • http://www.appleoutsider.de/ AppleOutsider.de – Sebastian P

            Yes. That’s exactly it. Congratulations.

            Because if you tell me five things that make me look like an Idiot yet you know that I am a A student that means that I am not an idiot PER SE but rather when it comes to THOSE FIVE ASPECTS I am acting like one.

            Are we getting closer? Do you understand what I mean?

            Arment tries his best to convey that he does not think that Android users are cheap, that he thinks that the userbase just behaves like cheapskates.

            is it really that hard to understand? I told you in one of my first replies that the way you are listing reasons for not buying Instapaper it makes you sound like the people who pirate everything and simply come up with reason after reason to legitimize their actions so they can say “I AM NOT A PIRATE”.

            People who download “A Game of Thrones” for instance. I mean it’s just an example but let me put it to you this way – let’s just assume something here. Just a wild guess. Between you and me. My guess is that you know what Bittorrent is. My guess is that you once in a while get a TV show you missed or simply can’t get or that hasn’t been released on DVD yet via Bittorrent.

            Which would make you a pirate.

            No matter how much you point to the “Lord of the Rings” DVDs on the shelf left or right of you.

            Yet when it comes to “being cheap”, which describes someone who isn’t willing to pay for anything as long as he can get it cheaper or get a substitute elsewhere with a drawback, that is not what Arment tries to describe. He knows that a large portion of Android users simply use their phones as dumbphones for instance, not ever visiting the Play Store at all. Or that they get their phone for 1 Dollar on conract compared to the 300 or 400 dollar an iPhone costs on contract, meaning that they are most likely on a completely different tier of income, meaning that they most likely only earn a fourth of what the iPhone buyer makes. Or that they live in a country that simply doesn’t offer the Play Store at all. OR OR OR OR OR.

            Which doesn’t make the user CHEAP PER SE but it frakking doesn’t matter because all that matters for the programmer of the App is THE FRIGGING BOTTOM LINE. If there’s no revenue he can’t pay taxes, health ensurance, the servers etc. etc.

            Arment runs a one man shop. He hasn’t taken on venture capital and if the examples of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, who sell their users eyeballs to advertisers, isn’t enough for you, then I can’t help you.

            All Arment does is describe that users on Android are quaking like ducks and you get riled up that he does that.

            Quak quak quak quak quak. And as a result you are offended because you think of yourself as a swan.

          • http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Tascar Tascar

            Let’s address these three points you are making.

            1. If you took a knife and ended someone’s life, to me, you are a killer. You can claim “oh, I am not a killer, I only performed the action of killer” but I see no functional difference and I just think that you are just playing with words here.

            2. I gave you plenty of reasons why I did not think that the Instapaper for Android app was worth buying. Instead of rebutting or challenging those reasons, you chose to use a straw man by calling me a pirate. I think that it the height of intellectual dishonesty in an argument. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

            3. I may be a fan of Android but I am not stupid or blind enough to claim that there aren’t differences in the Google Play Store and the iTunes Store that can have a large effect on the attractiveness of each marketplace. You are probably correct to assume that there is a large portion of Android phones that are pretty much used as smartphones. You are also probably correct in that the typical iPhone owner probably has more disposable income than the typical Android user. Certainly, the iTunes store is available in more countries than the Google Play Store and that can definitely affect sales potential.

            However, I would also point out two things. First, I would argue that there is a difference between whether or not an OS is good for developers or whether that OS is good for users and I think that Marco Arment often wrongly conflates those two together. Second, while it is certainly possible that the Google Play Store is a “less attractive market” than the iTunes Store, I think that there are also plenty of reasons that one can think of to disprove or refute some of the evidence that is provided against such data.

            Let me give you an example of something that might play into both points. I remember reading an article somewhere saying that some of the most expensive categories of apps that were being sold on the iTunes app store in large quantities were GPS turn-by-turn navigation apps. Is it possible that because until recently, iOS did not have built-in turn-by-turn navigation functionality built-in, scores of people bought these expensive apps and therefore drove up the profitability of the iTunes app store in comparison to the Google Play Store because Android has had a great build-in turn-by-turn navigation system since Android 2.0? One can certainly argue that iOS was a better ecosystem for GPS and travel app developers because of this discrepancy but I would argue that the fact that Android has a great built-in GPS navigation system, while harmful to said developers, is better for the end user.

            Ultimately, the biggest problem with much of the logic of these arguments is that I have not seen heard of an example where a developer launched on both platforms with equivalent quality products and found a significant difference between the two stores. Last I checked, Draw Something, which pretty much launched on both platforms at the same time, performed well on both Android and iOS. The problem is that so many times, the typical story is that like Marco Arment did with Instapaper on Android, the person launches on iOS first and then releases an Android version that isn’t as good as the iOS version a year or more after the fact. In such a scenario, I just don’t see how the developer should expect to make money.

            I was thinking about this recently when “Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP” launched on Android this November. Regardless of the game’s quality I just find it hard to believe that this game can make money because I would think that the vast majority of people who would want to play this game already played it either two years ago when it was launched on iOS or earlier last year when it was released on Steam for Windows. In such a scenario, how can one expect the Android version of the game to really do well? Yet this is a very common scenario with iOS developers that try to pivot to Android and whereas I would argue that the blame is with the developer’s late entry, I think that Marco Arment would try to blame it on Android and its users, as he did in this case with Instapaper.

            Simply put, I am just not convinced that, had we lived in some alternate universe where Marco Arment decided to start Instapaper years ago primarily on Android first, he would not be able to make as much as he is making now. It’s just impossible to tell. But Marco Arment is trying to do that and, as I said, what I think is worse is that he is trying to tie together his skewed view of how Android is for developers with the question of whether Android is good in general, which I think is intellectually bankrupt.

          • http://www.appleoutsider.de/ AppleOutsider.de – Sebastian P

            regarding 1) yup. You got it.

            regarding 2) let me recap: you didn’t buy it, because of reasons. To me that still means you don’t know what you’re talking about AND you fulfill Marco Arments take that Android-users are too cheap to put their money where their mouth is

            Starting at “However” I think you are getting off topic. We were talking about whether Arment called Android-users cheap and if they are or aren’t, not whether Android is a platform worth developing for. Apparently the Instapaper for Android developers thought it was. Case closed.

            The question remains whether Arment would be able to make a living off of the Android version and arguably he wouldn’t since last time I checked his revenue was miniscule and he has to share it with the developer of the Android-version. And since you don’t want to pay for the App, not even for testing it out and finding out whether all the stuff you talk about is true or not, again, like I said before, you fulfill all the things he said about Android.

            If you were really that much a fan of the platform and if you were really interested in finding out whether the iOS version and the Android version are comparable, you would get an iOS device and buy both versions on both platforms.

            Which is what I (!) did. I was interested in the Android platform and I wanted to know if it’s as good as iOS or not. I think it is.

            You on the other hand are obviously too cheap to do that. *snicker*

  • usnmustanger

    Kellex, your article is misleading, and this, in turn, is doing damage to a great Android development shop, mobelux. They are the author of the app this article refers to, not the developer of the Instapaper web service it uses as well as the iOS apps, Marcus Arment. You link to a blog post by Mr. Arment that has really incited quite an emotional response here, and then ostensibly credit him with development of this Android Instapaper app, That’s just not the case. mobelux are passionate Android developers, and with comments on here such as “I will never buy this app” or “I will never buy an app from this developer!” (which is true, since Mr. Arment only develops on iOS), it seems that you may have cost a good Android dev shop some business.
    I highly recommend editing the article to clarify the issue, and thus disincriminate the innocent party here.

    • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

      I agree with your premise and the majority of your points but do want to point out this is developed by Mobelux but is not their baby. Marco is still behind the project and they are revenue sharing.

      With that said, my point does not negate your well spoken comment. +1!

  • http://ryanparman.com Ryan Parman

    You guys realize that Marco, of Instapaper, isn’t the developer of the Android version of the app, right? He does the iOS version. A third-party developer does the Android version. He’s not a jerk if he wants to be paid a reasonable price for a worthwhile app. Just sayin’.

  • http://www.appleoutsider.de/ AppleOutsider.de – Sebastian P

    Hi there,

    just a quick question – what is the other option for a customer when he sees a product other than “can’t” and “won’t”?

    To me it seems you didn’t think about the quote by Arment from another position than your own and took it as an insult that someone would think you wouldn’t be able to buy something and then you extended it to someone who doesn’t have the financial means.

    But seriously, isn’t Arment describing just the basic principle of a buyer/seller situation? Either you can not buy something or you will not buy something.

    I don’t understand what you wanted him to express otherwise?

    On top of that I kind of feel as if you didn’t even try to understand the differences between the iOS and Android ecosystems. When Arment said that, if I am not totally wrong, there were only a handfull of countries where you were able to even collect money as a developer.

    I mean have you looked at this list?

    https://support.google.com/googleplay/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2462844

    Now that list might have changed since then and I would LOVE to get an update on it. But let’s just compare that list with this one:

    http://stackoverflow.com/questions/4804369/official-list-of-countries-for-iphone-appstore-and-in-app-purchase

    Could it be, maybe, just MAYBE that all Arment wanted to express is that there are billions of people on planet earth who can not, even if they wanted to, even if they are billionaires living in Russia, pay for the app even if they wanted to unless they get a credit card from another country?

    Just my two cents.

    Oh and please don’t take this as a comment from an Apple Fanboy. I switched to a Gnex 10 months ago, I write this from a Windows 7 PC and the only iOS device I own is an iPad mini. I live in ALL ecosystems and have that blog of mine to comment on things like this.

  • Sidharth Dassani

    I bought pocket when it was a paid app for iPad and Android. Then they made it free . Now I use Instapaper on iPad and Android because I don’t want to become the product. I rather pay for a service rather than allow the developer to sell me

    • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

      Boy y’all kill me w/ the “sell me” rhetoric.

  • http://www.skial.com/ Tom S

    He’s not a jerk because of what he said. He’s a jerk because of how he said it. It’s condescending and snobbish.

    I have no problem paying for an app from good devs. I’ve paid for Plume and Beautiful Widgets. I’ve paid for Shazam. I’ve paid for a bunch of others that I can’t think of off the top of my head. The thing is that these developers put out a good product and treat their customers well. This guy seems to be more of the “Well, if you don’t like it, sod off.” type.

  • http://profiles.google.com/xj333t Joel McCauley

    the developer (Mobelux) is hiring…

  • owan

    why give this guy any kind of press? Hes obviously a douchebag and there are better alternatives to his app

  • http://twitter.com/JAWhye J. A. Whye

    It’s comments like these that confirm my disdain for (most?) Android people is right on. That article of Marco’s that was linked? The one with the section called Undesirable Customers? He was mainly talking about iOS people. He *only* mentioned Android in a quick parenthetical aside.

    • http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Tascar Tascar

      Never mind, of course, that he has in fact talked about his distain for Android and their users in countless podcast episodes, Twitter posts, and blog posts.

    • http://twitter.com/savagejeep SavageJeep

      It only took one little sentence to disregard (most?) Android folk.
      That is a poor business decision from any developer or businessman.

      As for your disdain for “Android people”; not sure were that comes from but again making sweeping generalizations for any group of folk, including iOS or Android, is a dangerous proposition. People are more than there phone/tablet device.

  • Kaelten

    All of the people here acting as they are speak more to the virtues (or lack there of) of the Android community than anything else.

    Thanks for clearing that up guys.

  • skps

    funny how you make fun of him for saying Android users aren’t willing to pay for apps, and immediately reinforce exactly what he said with this entire article along with everyone else in the comments.

    PLZ MAKE ANDROID APP!!

    WOT?! ITS NOT FREE?!

    jesus…

  • Chris King

    Looks like Kellex shook the Apple tree

  • JamHut

    Did you lot read anything Marco actually said or did you just read these 5 lines of “playing the man, not the ball” snark?

  • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

    Plain and simple the guy is a fizzy douche

    • Kaelten

      Na he’s more of a coffee drinker. Merlin is the fizzy one.

  • Chris King

    And who says android fans don’t spend money, we pull the rug out from under didn’t we. Can some please remind me who owns market majority?

  • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

    I’m an avid Build & Analyze listener and know Marco is anti-Android, in the sense he doesn’t like it, but $2.99 isn’t a bad price point. I disagree w/ him a ton but on pricing he’s been pretty spot on with testing the app market.

    • http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Tascar Tascar

      I don’t think it’s a bad price point at all but the problem is that Instapaper is years late to the Google Play Store and is not only function-incomplete with regards to the iOS version of Instapaper but also function-incomplete with regards to the competitors like Pocket that has been in the Play Store for years longer and so it’s very hard for Marco Arment to justify that price whereas if Pocket decided to charge $3, at the very least they could point to their features compared to the competition as justification.

      • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

        Preaching to the choir. I’m a Pocket fan.

        I just didn’t like the sparky post. It was unnecessary to go back on stuff in an app review; especially when it is old news and clarity is needed. I’m way against Marco’s views on Android but not as an indie dev.

  • http://bailwardphotography.com/ Alan Bailward

    Please read the link posted about ‘you can’t afford it. and notice that the sum total mentioned of Android in the article is 1, where he says that android people are less likely to buy apps, to which (it seems) the android community at large’s response is “well we won’t be buying it then”.

    Also remember that the app isn’t written by Maro, but by an Android development shop (forget the name right now) who (I assume) loves developing for android. I have no idea what sort of rev-share deal they have with him, but not supporting the app means you’re not supporting them as well as Marco. And if you listen to any of his talks (or read the link everyone seems to be up in arms about), he’s never called Android the slums of the mobile earth (at least in any episode of the Build and Analyse podcast I heard), but just that iOS was where more people were more likely to buy a paid-only app, which his own experiments with having a free and a paid app have borne out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Robson/1317522018 Chris Robson

    If the apps are good at what they do we will pay for them. I have Phone My Pc and I think it was like 15 bucks when I got it. It is a nice working product that they support very well so I purchased it. With this guys attitude I hope he doesn’t sell anything.

  • http://twitter.com/Antijingoist Abelardo (Abbie)

    Says the people that probably never tried Android/iOS cross platform development. Even the BBC won’t touch that without a team.

    • kidtronic

      And BBC is renowned for their app development…

  • Chris Hollenbeck

    “I don’t need every customer. I’m primarily in the business of selling a product for money. How much effort do I really want to devote to satisfying people who are unable or extremely unlikely to pay for anything? (This is also a major reason why I have no plans to enter the Android market.)”

    Yeah this guy is a jerk.

    • http://twitter.com/_sjs Sami Samhuri

      I’m confused. It sounds like you think he’s a jerk because he doesn’t want to work for you for free. Do I have that right?

      • mplacido9

        No. I’m pretty sure Chris thinks he’s a jerk because he’s saying the entire Android community is either too dumb to use his app or too cheap to pay for it.

        • johnstuddert

          Where does he say anything about the Android community being dumb?

          As for cheap – he never said that, he said Android users are less likely to pay for apps and also pay less for them (which is backed up by evidence). If you think that makes the Android community cheap (since you’re the one making that leap, not him), then funnily enough you’re the one insulting the Android community.

          • JamesPelaccio

            Arment is being a dick. He is trying to say that Android is the poor mans iPhone. Just because Android users are more frugal and know that they can get a technologically superior phone for in many cases less money, doesn’t equate them to being poor.

          • mplacido9

            “It also filters out many people likely to need a lot of support.”

            What does that mean? People who pay for the app are smarter and can troubleshoot issues on their own without the devs assistance?

            “How much effort do I really want to devote to satisfying people who are unable or extremely unlikely to pay for anything?”

            Cheap – 1. Low in price; worth more than its cost 2. Stingy

            Stingy – Unwilling to give or spend

            “This is also a major reason why I have no plans to enter the Android market.”

          • Darwin

            Jesus what a bunch of babies.
            The fact is developers make a pittance on Android compared to iOS and pirating is rampant on Android. Both happen to be facts. Grow up and stop whining.

          • Jarred Sutherland

            Completely agree, people here expect a free lunch and they don’t see any problems with it.

          • blootz

            you must be dumb, “extremley unlikely or able to pay for an app.” is cheap. the Android community is a larger market than apples. not a good idea to insult your customers, or would be customers. but you sound like the type to just take it. if I spend my money somewhere and get treated bad, I’d want my money back. you would just take it, and thats why theirs so much bad customer service everywhere because people like you dont stand up for whats right.

        • michael arazan

          40% of my apps are paid for, not my fault the dev’s in the android market make Great Apps free or offer ad and ad free apps, I have even donated for the free apps that I use daily and think are great if there is an option

          • johnstuddert

            You’re correct, that’s not your fault. But as I’ve already said, even if the reason that people pay less for apps on Google Play is because they’re all more competitively priced, it doesn’t really matter in this context. All that matters is that people do indeed pay less, as this is what he was basing his business decision on.

      • may

        I wonder how many people here would turn into “jerks” if their employers wanted them to keep working but decided to stop paying them.

        • JamesPelaccio

          He’s a jerk because he equates using Android to being poor, not because he’s not being paid.

          • DRaY

            He’s a jerk because he saying that users that download the free version are dumb and cheap, and this is why he doesnt want to be on android. This is all fine and dandy to think, but he is saying it out loud!! I would never BUY any of his apps, I will pirate them HAHAHA…. I hope this guy goes broke!

          • steelblued

            May I have a citation for this?

            I have been following his twitter for quite a while but I don’t remember he talking about this.

          • jpelaccio
          • steelblued

            Yeah I read this before and re-read it again, but how is this “equates using Android to being poor”.

            I hope not to get someone’s quote have its meaning twisted.

          • johnstuddert

            It doesn’t equate to that. And as I’ve said numerous times here (but this point has been ignored), the market research on Android vs. iOS bears his statement out.

          • steelblued

            I read it several times , this is at least just being an insult of people who are “unable or extremely unlikely to pay for anything”.

            Does it equates Android or poor or both? It may be part of Android community, part of poor community, or part of iOS community. These people exist everywhere.

    • Jarred Sutherland

      Yeah he’s a jerk for making a business decision. You guys kill me. Would you operate a business where you catered to a large group who refused to buy services but just wanted everything for free? You seem to not have a grasp of how business works.

      Not to mention that, if he doesn’t want to write an app for Android WHO CARES. That’s his decision and if he doesn’t see the value in it, fine.

      Take a look at the polls this site and many have done, there are very few people who think paying for apps is a good idea. Plenty of sites dedicated to downloading pay for apk’s for free as well. I don’t blame the guy if he doesn’t see the value in it. After all, this IS a business. Try going to your favorite restaurant and demanding they give you free food because you don’t want to pay for it.

      • http://twitter.com/savagejeep SavageJeep

        And as a buying consumer (yes “buying” consumer) it’s my prerogative to speak with my wallet. I will seek out developers that are grateful to have my business because it sounds to me that Mobelux couldn’t care less. P.S. I have tried the product…mehh

      • Chris Hollenbeck

        - Mitt Romney’s 47% speech is an example. He may have been right, but it hurt is campaign more than it helped it (I hope this doesn’t start a political flame war).
        - Another example- Would you be a dedicated customer to a company that added this to their website?

  • Greyhame

    What a darsh.

  • cjohnson481

    at least the app is holo themed. dear devs, your app goes to the bottom of my list of usage if it isnt holo themed!

    • http://twitter.com/roguecnidarian a dumb birdbrain

      What’s a holo theme?

      • Trey Mitchell

        using the ics and later ui elements that have a holographic look and over all better esthetic.

  • mplacido9

    I can understand his stance on having a free version of his app, but he comes across as a snobbish jerk. I’d rather support a Dev who wants to make android apps instead of this guy who’s only in it for the money.

    • http://about.me/christopherkennedy Christopher Kennedy

      Yes, how *dare* this man try to explore avenues of making money by producing a product for people who are unhappy they can’t get something for free. For SHAME Marco Arment, FOR SHAME.

      • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

        Definitely nothing wrong with taking the paid-only approach. Devs deserve as much as anyone to get paid. I actually like paid apps because they usually mean no ads are present. Just don’t insult an entire ecosystem and their users on your quest to justify why you are only offering paid apps.

        • http://about.me/christopherkennedy Christopher Kennedy

          For sure, but then, this guy is getting berated for not being like Pocket, a company that he initially helped get started with his own system, who then pulled the rug out from under him, and now Android users want him to be free like his competitor. It seems to be a no-win situation for him to be in.

          • Captain_Doug

            Still goes back to the, “he doesn’t have to be an a-hole” argument. Paid app? Cool. Thinks very little of his customers(publicly)? Not cool.

          • johnstuddert

            You’re not really paying attention are you? For one thing, Android users clearly weren’t his customers when he wrote the post linked here (the clue is in the only sentence with Android in it: “This is also a major reason why I have no plans to enter the Android market.”).

            But more importantly, how do you know what he thinks of Android users? He simply said they’re unlikely or unable to pay for an app, an important point for a business to consider which is backed up by market research.

          • blootz

            are you dumb, that is an insult to android. you dont tell people they cant afford, or want your product. come to my shop and let me tell you how your unlikely or unable to pay for my products. if I tell all my customers the same thing I would be out of buisness.

            theirs a saying “if you have nothing good to say, say nothing at all” you obviously don’t know that saying. ask someone with manners what that means.

          • Captain_Doug

            I watched his interview on the verge. It was pretty blatant. Whether he thought it then or thinks it now, he thinks Android users are a lower class of people. You must not be paying attention…

          • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

            Again, I have no problem with him charging for his app. No one is saying his app should be free. I’m simply saying that he has a really elitist attitude towards Android (or at least did for a really long time) and so I felt like pointing that out.

          • skps

            So if someone wanted me to work for them for free and I refused, I’m an elitist?

          • mplacido9

            If owned a store, but said I wasn’t opening my store in your town because I think you can’t afford to shop at my store, would I be an elitist?

          • kidtronic

            I would be more sympathetic if he wasn’t such a douche about it. I pay for a lot of apps, but he’s definitely not getting my money. Call it a self fulfilling prophecy.

          • johnstuddert

            Kudos on picking up on the Pocket reference – I wonder is Kellex aware of the history there?

          • http://about.me/christopherkennedy Christopher Kennedy

            John, I was wrong. It was actually Readability. Looks like my brain conflated the two for some reason.

          • johnstuddert

            As was I, I remembered the story and went along with your memory of the product :-) My bad too then, I’m wrong on that one!

        • johnstuddert

          How and where did he insult an entire ecosystem? The only line about Android in his linked post was “How much effort do I really want to devote to satisfying people who are unable or extremely unlikely to pay for anything?”. There is plenty of market research out there (not just his own!) that shows Android users spend far less per app and are far more likely to opt for a free ad-supported version, which is presumably what he’s talking about.

          That could be because they’re unwilling to pay for it, it could be because they’re unable to pay for it, it could be because apps are just cheaper on Google Play compared to the App Store. But ultimately, it doesn’t matter why; what matters is that he can’t charge as much (and remain competitive) and won’t make as many sales on Android.

          He’s running a business here. He made a decision based on the evidence. If you don’t like the evidence or his decision, that’s your problem, not his.

          • http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Tascar Tascar

            If you listen to his old podcast or read his blog or follow him on Twitter, he makes it very clear what he feels about Android and its users.

            The issue I have is I am not convinced by his arguments regarding the Google Play Store. Simply put, I am not convinced that if a developer creates a great app and chooses to charge a price for it, they won’t make as much money on Google Play Store as they would on the iTunes Store. However, I do think that if you are an iOS developer and are throwing out a port of your app on the Google Play Store years after other competitors have carved out a niche there with far more features than your product, you will probably not make money, especially if you are also known on the net as someone who actively speaks out against Android.

          • johnstuddert

            Fair enough – good to have a response not just calling me stupid so thanks for that :-)

            And it’s a good point about releasing late on Android affecting the appeal of his app. But the reason he didn’t invest in an Android version sooner was down to independent market research on the Google Play store – not just his own. Or at least, that’s what I took from reading his blog for a while now.

        • ceejw

          To be fair to the Dev, the post you linked to is almost 2 years old. Not bothering with a paid app on Android was much more justifiable in early 2011 than it is now.

      • mplacido9

        You completely misunderstood my entire post. I have nothing against anyone trying to make money off of their product. In my first comment I said I understand his point of not having a free app because it isn’t cost effective for him. That’s fine. My point, and Kellen’s as well, was the way he comes across, very elitist, is off putting. I have no problem paying for an app and $2.99 isn’t that expensive. What I meant was that I’d rather give my money to someone who likes Android and contributes to the ecosystem because they want to. If you read his blog, or whatever that was Kellen linked to in the article, you can clearly see he didn’t even want to make an Android app.

        • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

          if he didn’t want an Android app, he wouldn’t have spent his own money to have 1 built. Secondly, he is an independent developer so taking time to build 2 native applications on different operating systems is not something to sneeze at. Cross platform SDKs make it not be that big of a deal but individual native app is very very time consuming. Especially if you consider the fact that he was doing 1 iOS app full time.

          • mplacido9

            I never said he was’t a good developer or it was easy to make his app. I just don’t like his attitude.

          • steelblued

            Well, may be his attitude towards Android ecosystem isn’t kind, but put it this way, why he should be kind to the Android ecosystem and community? Because you are using it?

            We all have opinions about platforms, Android users are “less likely paying” is a fact that is backed up by evidence, at least for now and for the foreseeable future. Marco isn’t making this up, we all know about it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/metalmatze1234 Along Came Morgi

      having read his article i want to punch his face and shove 5 dollars down his throat o_o

  • Mapekz

    Marco isn’t a bad guy by any means and usually has the right idea but he was blind to the merits of Android for a long time (until well after ICS released) the same way I was blind to how good of a machine a MacBook is (please everyone use a MacBook for a while, especially for development; I assure you it’s worth your time) so I feel like I relate to him on some level.

    Still, Pocket is way better than Instapaper and prettier to boot. I still have a list of 100+ things I have marked to be read later but I will get to them eventually, the same way I “plan to get to” all of my Steam games bought on sale.

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      I’m sure he’s a decent enough person, but when he spent years bitching about how crappy Android was, only to release an Android app, it’s hard to say too many nice things about his work.

      • http://twitter.com/SA_Smith27 Steven Smith

        What happened to journalistic integrity? Regardless of your personal opinion of the developer and his business practices, if his work is good—which it definitely is—you shouldn’t refrain from giving his work the respect it deserves. After all, your sentiments are reason he doesn’t thinking developing for Android is worth a lot of his time.

        • Chris King

          He’s not knocking the app, just him knocking on android and come over looking for our money

          • Walt French

            Yeah, why spend $3 just because the app is good? Why not give your $3 to the collection basket of the Church of Android? Who gives a crap about apps to do things when fundamentalist religious principles are at stake?

        • http://twitter.com/darkcomartist darkcomartist

          to my knowledge this is a blog by a tech person and/or fan, not Tom Brokaw so I don’t think he needs to abide by “journalistic integrity” in the literal sense or anything of the sort. More to the point though, he’s merely stating this dev’s attitude towards the Android community is insulting. No one is saying his app isn’t very good or isn’t deserving of his asking price, only that he doesn’t have to be a D-bag about it and insult the rest of the community.

          • http://twitter.com/SA_Smith27 Steven Smith

            As a tech writer myself, I’d disagree that we aren’t bound by the same journalistic integrity as every other. Otherwise how could you trust what has been written isn’t disingenuous? If the author thinks the app is too expensive, just say so. Even if he thinks the app is good, that is completely undermined by his sanctimonious tirade. I’m not saying he should have given the update a glowing review, but to be so biased isn’t fair.

          • http://twitter.com/SA_Smith27 Steven Smith

            I’d also point out that the article isn’t fair, given the fact that Marco didn’t actually develop the app himself making the author’s opinion even more unnecessary.

        • Abhisshack D

          “he doesn’t thinking developing for Android is worth a lot of his time.” yet he develop an Android App. Ohh! The Irony !!!!!!!

          • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

            technically, he paid someone to build the app.

        • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

          With all due respect F#@k his work. He called out the entire Android community and he is supposed to get a pass because he did a good job developing the app? He has every right to make a living and charge what he wants, but with comments like that he wont get far. Im glad he feels like he doesnt need every customer because he just pissed a bunch of them off.

          • http://twitter.com/SA_Smith27 Steven Smith

            He didn’t develop the app himself so why does the author feel the need to lambast him?

          • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

            Did you read his comments? Its really that simply. Its pretty offensive at least it is to me. He pretty much insulted a bunch of people. Dude must have a huge set of brass balls. He probably bought them with all that ios money.

      • johnstuddert

        That doesn’t make much sense to me. He’s been clear in the past that he’s not a fan of Android, absolutely. He also had no intention of developing for it. And yet he was pestered for years by fans who wanted his app on Android, so he contracted with a 3rd party development team to produce a version for Android. What’s wrong with any of that? Is he not entitled to his opinion?

        If you can’t draw a distinction between his work (not even directly his work in fact!) and his opinions then your own reviews are hardly to be trusted. For other people reading this: you may well agree with Kellex’s disgruntlement towards Marco here, but what about other apps he posts about? What if he disagrees with some other developer on something you couldn’t care less about, but equally lets that affect his review?

        Kellex, can you not see (without even getting into the completely separate debate about Marco’s opinions – I’ll reply to that separately) how unprofessional this is?

        • http://www.icecaves.net/ Haily

          “What’s wrong with any of that? Is he not entitled to his opinion?”

          Isn’t Kellex entitled to his opinion as well? What’s wrong with that? This isn’t the New York Times, I don’t know what confused you to think it was. This should help: http://www.droid-life.com/about/

          This isn’t a news site, it’s a community. This dev insulted the larger android community, something a lot of people identify with. You probably don’t identify with it, but what if someone insulted something you did identify with? A sports team, a religion, a culture, an ideology, your heritage? Why the heck would you not take that into consideration when that person comes to you and offers to sell you something?

          That’s it. Nobody is attacking his business plan or even the quality of the app. If you think that the quality of the app outweighs his comments, then go buy it. Great for you. Now please stop. The end.

          • johnstuddert

            “Isn’t Kellex entitled to his opinion as well? What’s wrong with that?”

            Never said there was. My problem, as I thought I had made clear, is that he’s letting his opinion of Marco affect his review of the product. It doesn’t have to be the NY Times to expect a reasonable standard of reviews – which the linked about page makes clear this community site performs. I would’ve thought you’d like your reviews to be focused on the product, no? Or do you think that the only worthwhile reviews and journalism happen at old-school broadsheets?

            “Nobody is attacking his business plan or even the quality of the app.”

            You’re incorrect. I was responding to Kellex’s post where he says:

            “… but when he spent years bitching about how crappy Android was, only to release an Android app, it’s hard to say too many nice things about his work.”

            To me that reads as Kellex acknowledging that his review of the product will be affected by Marco’s opinions. Not sure how else you can read it.

            “If you think that the quality of the app outweighs his comments, then go buy it. Great for you. Now please stop. The end.”

            I did buy it. Then I saw this article and the comment thread bashing Marco for reasons that I disagree with (as in the supposed insult to the Android ecosystem in the linked article) and since it was an open comment thread, felt free to join in voicing my conflicting opinion. You’ll see from my other comment posts why I don’t agree with those reasons. What’s wrong with any of this? Why should I (but apparently not any of the other posters bashing Marco) stop?

            “This dev insulted the larger android community, something a lot of people identify with.”

            I can of course understand what it is to identify with a community. As I mention above, I’ve already replied to this separately in another comment and haven’t had any response yet that shows just where he “insulted the larger android community”. If you’re interested, please go read those and reply showing me where I missed this. Always happy to stand corrected (as I already have been on the Pocket reference).

  • brkshr

    Appreciate the ‘probably can’t afford his app’ link, I won’t be using his apps ever! I’m a huge supporter of devs that are nice/moral people. Koush & JRummy are 2 of the best.

    • Booyah

      Don’t forget Kovdev and his bomb icons.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Robson/1317522018 Chris Robson

      I have bought apps made by Jrummy that I couldn’t even use just to support that guy.

    • usnmustanger

      Unless you own an iOS device, you’re right, you won’t be using his apps ever. He only develops on iOS, not Android. See more on this below, as it’s already been discussed.

  • LionStone

    When I was a kid reading a book and wanted to ‘read it later’, I used a book marker, still do.. :-)

  • snowblind64

    “…the developer thinks Android is the slums of the mobile Earth and that you probably can’t afford his app.”

    Well now I definitely won’t be buying his app. Damned elitist iOS devs!

    • Julia White

      what Sharon answered I’m surprised that a person able to make 7K in one month on the computer. did you look at this http://www.youtube.com.qr.net/j5LO/watch?v=QZEpDqP3IrQ

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Tim-o-tato

      You want Instapaper? $3!!! :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/metalmatze1234 Along Came Morgi

      “How much effort do I really want to devote to satisfying people who are unable or extremely unlikely to pay for anything?

      (This is also a major reason why I have no plans to enter the Android market.)”