Instapaper iPad preview

Developer Marco Arment has posted some preview pictures for the coming soon-as-possible iPad version of his terrific Instapaper Pro app, and provided some interesting commentary into the design and thinking behind a rapid release.

If you're not familiar with Instapaper, it's a software/services combo that lets you quickly mark interesting articles you come across to "read later" either via a bookmarklet in your browser or via embedded support in other apps like NetNewsWire or Tweetie. You can then go to the Instapaper website or open the Instapaper Free [Free - iTunes link] or Instapaper Pro [$4.99 - iTunes link] app on your iPhone or iPod touch (and soon iPad) and enjoy those articles in a highly read-optimized form. Geek candy, to be sure.

As to the iPad-specific version, Arment says the pixel-doubled iPhone version on the iPad was not acceptable (something we've heard before). From there:

Once I nailed down a few definite iPad-friendly features, I realized that I could port all of them to the iPhone version of Instapaper Pro. And if I did that, all of my customers (and I) could use these great new features now.

[...]I’ll experiment with more radical interface changes in the future, once I’ve had time to actually use the iPad for a while and figure out what really works on it, what doesn’t, and what the hardware can handle.

And on the time-frame:

I’m doing my best to make the day-one submission deadline. Even if the first version ships with a few edge-case bugs, I’d rather have that on my iPad for a couple of weeks than no Instapaper at all, and many customers have told me that they feel the same way.

If you're already a user, the great news is that Arment is releasing a universal binary, meaning you won't have to buy Instapaper Pro again just for the iPad -- you get both in one.

Give the whole article a read, it's a great behind-the-scenes peak at iPad development, and then let us know what you think.