Marco Arment, the developer of Instapaper, previewed and talked about the development of the Instapaper Pro app for the iPad on his blog yesterday. Arment is aiming to have the iPad version available when the iPad is launched on April 3.
Notably, Instapaper Pro will be a universal application – this means that the app will work on both the iPhone and the iPad without the need to purchase separate apps for each device.
Screenshots show that the app will look much like the current version of Instapaper Pro, though its interface has been adjusted to suit the iPad’s larger screen as needed. Arment describes that the most noticeable changes will be on the landscape list view screen where Instapaper will offer a split-screen view to mimic the iPad’s Mail app.
Describing his motivation to work on an iPad version of the app immediately, Arment recounts his reaction to seeing the current Instapaper app in the Software Developer Kit’s iPad simulator:
It sucked, and it was completely unusable by my standards. I don’t think I’ll want to run any pixel-doubled apps on my iPad in practice.
As far as I’m concerned, Instapaper isn’t really available on the iPad until it’s native. (This also influenced my decision to make it a universal iPhone/iPad app: I don’t want anyone subjecting themselves to the iPhone edition in pixel-doubled mode.)
Only a handful of developers are believed to have received iPads for testing purposes in advance of its official release. Without an iPad in hand, fully testing an app for bugs and inconsistencies can be challenging. In this situation, developers run the risk of users encountering unfound bugs and unexpected issues. Speaking to this, Arment states:
This is a risky decision, but I feel that this is the right thing to do for me and my customers, so I’m going for it. If any bugs do crop up in the first version, I appreciate your patience and trust that I’ll fix them quickly. Thank you.