Thursday, October 3, 2019

Instapaper Safari App Extension


Today we’re launching Instapaper Save for Safari on Mac. You can download it now from the Mac App Store.

As with MarsEdit, I’m torn between using the bookmarklet, because it’s simpler and can have a keyboard shortcut, and using the extension, because it doesn’t show a security alert for each invocation.

Ironically, despite triggering the scary alert, the bookmarklet is probably better for privacy because it only has access to the pages I invoke it on (and doesn’t have a companion app that can run arbitrary code).


Update (2019-10-03): I confused my different bookmarklets. The Instapaper one does not trigger a security alert because it sends the page to a Web URL rather than to a native app.

Thus, I think the main downside of the bookmarklet is that it often makes me log into I’m not sure whether Instapaper or Safari is responsible for logging me out. But perhaps the app is better able to stay logged in.

Update (2019-10-04): Paul McGrane:

the old pre-Safari 13 @InstapaperHelp extension also had a context-menu item for saving links by right-clicking on them.

Neither the bookmarklet nor the new MAS extension can do that today. I don’t know if the modern extension can do it or not.

Also the old Safari extension inserted “Save to Instapaper” links quite subtly into every post on Reddit and Hacker News, which is a little disturbing but was actually very useful. Neither modern option does that either.


We’ll be working on getting those back into the save options, we just decided to get the most basic version of it out there to ensure users could save from Safari 13 first - thanks for making sure!

3 Comments RSS · Twitter

I had a problem where the site would forget my preference for the dark color mode, and the answer from support was to sign in while selecting the keep me logged in checkbox. I never check boxes like that, and I think its status effecting in-app behavior not related to authentication (the persistence of in-app settings) is confusing and unexpected. Checking it does seem to help the web app remember my color mode preference, and should also help you stay signed in longer if you are not already checking it when signing in.

@Ricky Thanks. I’m already checking it. It’s weird because sometimes the bookmarklet acts like I’m logged out, but if I go to the site directly it does say I’m signed in. That’s why I wonder whether this is some sort of Safari issue where it doesn’t want to send the cookie when I haven’t actually navigated to the page.

Daniel Compton

@Michael, after upgrading to Safari 13, I need to do the second manual save step after tapping the bookmarklet. I think this is due to Safari 13’s more aggressive tracking protection. When I turned on ITP debug mode, I saw that Instapaper was classified as a tracking site.

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