Posts by Collin Fletcher

Instapaper’s Fresh New Direction

Instapaper Redesign GIF

The app Instapaper‘s been around for a while. Its creator, Marco Arment, introduced it as the first read-it-later service back in 2008. As just a web product, users installed the Instapaper bookmarklet to save articles for reading in their browser. When the iPad came out in 2010, however, things changed and Instapaper became a product all about reading articles on the go. Eventually Arment’s many other projects became a hindrance to Instapaper, and he decided to sell it in hopes of keeping the product fresh.

That brings us to today. The company Arment sold it to, Betaworks, is fresh off their wonderful revamp of Digg; and has been steeping Instapaper in their labs for the past couple months. After a quick testing period, Betaworks released their redesigned web component to the public last week. Kind of like the service’s beginning, Instapaper‘s getting a fresh start in the browser. And taking a look at this redesign, it appears the future’s really shaping up well for the old favorite.

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Blackbar: Not Your _______ iOS Game

Blackbar - An game for iOS

If you don’t know Neven Mrgan, you should. By day he’s a designer at Panic, Inc. where he works on their famous “shockingly good” software such as Coda and Transmit. But by night, Mrgan works in collaboration with others on projects for iOS. Mrgan’s previous game, The Incident, was as much aesthetic as it was fun to play. It nailed an 8-bit look and sound reminiscent of vintage arcade games, combined with a gameplay style that can only be described as the hellish opposite of Tetris.

Mrgan’s latest game, however, is a bit simpler. In Blackbar, the player reads mail. Mhmm. Mail. But the twist lies in that each new piece of mail has large redacted chunks of text – and it’s up to you to figure out what those words are. Unlike most iOS games, Blackbar figured out how to tell a story by simply playing the game. The further you get in your mail, the more aware you become of the dystopian society you and your correspondent live in.

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