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iOS 5 Reader: Instapaper founder responds to Apple rival

Instapaper is an app available on both iDevices and Android; allows you to save webpage content for reading in the future, but it’s now got very strong competition from Apple’s forthcoming iOS 5, where the (free) Safari Reader and Reading List features offers to do the same.

Instapaper founder Marco Arment has responded to the new competition on his own personal blog.

Arment knew the feature would arrive on the next version of Mac software, and posted a response back in April.

And he’s sticking to his response then: “My biggest challenge isn’t winning over converts from my competitors: it’s explaining what Instapaper does and convincing people that they actually need it. Once they “get it”, they love it, but explaining its value in one quick, easy-to-understand, general-audience sentence is more difficult than you might imagine.

“If Apple gets a bunch of Safari users — the browser that works best with Instapaper — to get into a “read later” workflow and see the value in such features, those users are prime potential Instapaper customers. And it gives me an easier way to explain it to them: “It’s like Safari’s Reading List, but better, in these ways.”

There are a lot of features found on both – they’re both free (Instapaper also has an additional premium version), you can sync your reading across devices, and both offer a simplified reader option for easier reading on smaller screens.

In his latest post, he adds that less than 1% of iOS users are Instapaper users, despite it repeatedly taking the top spot in the iTunes App Store’s News section.

“If Reading List gets widely adopted and millions of people start saving pages for later reading, a portion of those people will be interested in upgrading to a dedicated, deluxe app and service to serve their needs better. And they’ll quickly find Instapaper in the App Store.”

Lemons into Lemonade? Or Apple Crush(ed)?

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