Instapaper Sold to Pinterest »

From the Instapaper blog:

Today, we’re excited to announce that Instapaper is joining Pinterest. In the three years since betaworks acquired Instapaper from Marco Arment, we’ve completely rewritten our backend, overhauled our mobile and web clients, improved parsing and search, and introduced tons of great features like highlights, text-to-speech, and speed reading to the product.

All of these features and developments revolved around the core mission of Instapaper, which is allowing our users to discover, save, and experience interesting web content. In that respect, there is a lot of overlap between Pinterest and Instapaper. Joining Pinterest provides us with the additional resources and experience necessary to achieve that shared mission on a much larger scale.

Unlike almost everyone else my age, I’m not super familiar with Pinterest, but I hope this is a good thing for my favorite read-it-later service.

Note App Vesper Shuttered »

Brent Simmons, announcing the end of Vesper:

Sync will be turned off Aug. 30 at 8pm Pacific. We’ll destroy all the data, and neither we nor anyone else will be able to recover it.

The app will be removed from the App Store on Sep. 15. Until then, starting now, it’s free — since you can’t create new sync accounts, and it wouldn’t be fair to charge new users if they can’t sync.

Props to Q Branch for putting time into a dying app to make it possible to export user data. Too many apps and services don’t get that part right.

I’m sad — but not shocked — to see the lights going off at Vesper HQ. It’s a beautiful app, but it existed in a crowded market that was turned upside down with the overhaul got last year.

Feed Hawk »

I use Unread coupled to Feedbin to read RSS items on my iPhone and iPad.

As great as Unread is, it can’t be used to add a subscription to my Feedbin account. If I come across a website that I want to add to my RSS feeds, I have to log in to Feedbin to do so.

Feed Hawk is a new app that makes this easy. It sits in the share sheet and can be used to find and subscribe to a site’s RSS feed from right within Safari. It works with a bunch of services: BazQux Reader, Feed Wrangler, Feedbin, FeedHQ, Inoreader, Minimal Reader, NewsBlur, or The Old Reader.

I like iOS apps that patch a hole in my workflow, and Feed Hawk fits that bill.

Mojician »

One of the best parts of Slack is the ability to load custom emojis for people on your team to use. In the Relay FM slack, we have a whole bunch:

Custom emoji

Most of these have come for art people happened to have around. Will Duffy has launched a new service named Mojician to make it easy to find new custom emoji, upload your favorites and more:

Mojician is an emoji search engine that lets you search (obvi), upload, and curate your own custom emoji collections. Now you’ll always have the best emoji reactions for every situation. Your only problem will be deciding the best one to use.

This is pretty awesome.

Castro 2 »

My buddies at Supertop have released Castro 2, a new podcast client for the iPhone that brings something new to the landscape: the ability to triage shows and episodes.

Castro is the first app that is designed to help you track a broad range of shows and pick out the episodes that appeal to you. Subscribing to a podcast doesn’t have to be a commitment to listen to every episode. You don’t have to choose a narrow few shows and miss out on the rest.

It’s a great idea, and it’s wrapped in one of the best-looking iOS apps I’ve seen in a while.

Quip purchased by Salesforce »

Bret Taylor and Kevin Gibbs:

We’re committed to growing and expanding Quip’s productivity platform as part of Salesforce. If you’re a Quip customer, please know that we’ll continue to provide you with the exceptional service and extraordinary products you’ve come to expect from us, and once the transaction closes, we’ll do so as part of the world’s #1 CRM company. If you’re not yet a customer, sign your team up today!

As their blog post also says that Quip is hiring, my gut says that it will survive in some form or another, but as part of Salesforce’s enterprise tools. I’m happy for these guys, but I’ll be pretty disappointed if I — as a regular human user — get shut out of this app.

Adding weather info to »

BusyCal and other calendar apps add weather right into your calendar view, but Apple’s built-in on iOS and macOS doesn’t offer that feature.

Turns out, Weather Underground serves .ics files that can be imported to Calendar, as Chris Short explains:

Recently, I discovered Weather Underground provides ICS files for use in any calendar application you can think of (Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, and Apple’s These ICS URLs do not appear to be documented by Weather Underground specifically but here are some examples to get you started.

I set it up, adding the calendar subscription to my iCloud account. Now, I can make outdoor plans without needing to jump to my weather app of choice first. Pretty neat.

The best news aggregation service »

Joe Caiati, writing for The Sweet Setup:

In an age past, the newspaper was delivered to your doorstep in the morning ready to be digested over a cup of coffee. When you returned home from work and settled down on the couch, the nightly news on TV caught you up on the day’s events.

While those outlets are still around today, news is much more complicated.

We want our news to be personal. For years, everyone got the same news as everyone else, but that’s just not true today. We can customize and build custom experiences that can serve as something far more subjective than the daily newspaper and nightly news ever delivered.

His review of Nuzzel is great. If you aren’t using this app, you should check it out.

My evolving home screen 

I’m a creature of habit. This is evident in a lot of areas of my life, but in looking through old screenshots of my iPhone’s home screen:

Home screens

Wallpapers: 2011 | 2013 | 2016

In addition to how hilariously small old iPhones seem compared to my 6S Plus, the thing that jumped out at me the most is how little turnover there is over time in apps and their placement.

For example, OmniFocus, Tweetbot, an RSS client and Instapaper have anchored my bottom row for as long as I can remember. During times of sin, I’ve used Remember the Milk or Todoist, having them take over the “GTD spot” in that row.

My music and my podcast players have always been next to each other, with a weather app has always been on the right. Messages, a calendar app, photos and a camera app have always been at the top, until the Plus forced me to add another row above them.

The three-app Dock is new as of a year ago, when I was talked into it by a podcast. Settings is now a resident of my second screen.

Of course, I can’t post this image without commenting on how the design trends in iOS have changed over the years. That 2011 screenshot is pretty painful now, but there is something charming about iOS 6 there in the middle. All in all, though, I have to say I like the current look the best. There’s plenty of color and personality still, but everything looks a little more grown up.