RSS reader with offline Instapaper sync
July 31, 2012 5:08 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for an iOS iPhone RSS reading application that will queue up additions Instapaper or other read later service while offline. Most that I've tried require you to be online, which stinks since I read the news on the subway a lot. I've researched like crazy but most apps or reviews don't give details on this feature in their descriptions so it's hard to know, and I can't buy them all. There is one, called Byline, but it hasn't been updated in a year and has tons of crashes when in offline mode, which defeats the purpose.
posted by kfs27 to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Reeder is my RSS reader of choice. You can grab all your feeds before you go underground and work your way through them (it will cache images and text for offline reading). I use it constantly and its latest update has introduced a really slick new interface. Plus it plugs into umpteen other services like Twitter and Instapaper. Recommended.
posted by Happy Dave at 6:29 AM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

The description of the Instapaper app says you can download content and read it while offline. Is this not sufficient? Are you looking for an app that syncs content to your device automatically so you don't have to remember to do it before going offline?
posted by jon1270 at 6:32 AM on July 31, 2012

I believe the poster wants to be able to add to his instapaper queue while offline in his RSS app, and have the queue get added to Instapaper when he's back online.

I just tested this in Reeder. I cached a few items, then switched to airplane mode. When I added an item to instapaper, it appeared to work successfully, but when I switched airplane mode off, and went back into the app (Reeder), as well as into Instapaper, the article doesn't appear to have been added.
posted by backwards guitar at 6:40 AM on July 31, 2012

Oh another idea that occurred to me. Reeder will let you star items offline, and you could set up this IFTTT Recipe to save any starred items to Instapaper automatically.
posted by backwards guitar at 6:42 AM on July 31, 2012

I think kfs27 is asking a slightly different question. He is asking whether a RSS reader can send "Read Later" items to Instapaper while he is offline when he has no phone signal.

I have Reeder for iPhone and just did a little experiment. I downloaded some RSS feeds on Reeder, then switched to airplane mode, then went back into Reeder to then select items to "Read Later", then switch off airplane mode and refreshed Reeder. My items didn't show up in Readability (I don't use Instapaper so can't confirm whether this will work there).

However, I tried the same thing on Reeder for iPad (it's a different app made by the same author) and it DID work in this scenario.

I have an iPhone 3GS and iPad 2 so can't confirm other models. It might have to do with how much RAM can allow this type of process or it's just a feature isn't available in the iPhone App. Not sure...

The other popular app is Mr Reader but can't confirm whether its works on there.

Not great news but hope it eliminates some options....
posted by silmonli at 6:47 AM on July 31, 2012

If the RSS app allows you to email an article, you can use that to submit to Instapaper. Every account has a unique email address which is visible here.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 7:13 AM on July 31, 2012

I use Byline. It has crashed on me, but very, very rarely. Maybe twice this year, and I use it every day.

I tested your use case on my way to work today by adding five articles to Instapaper from within Byline while in a tunnel under the Hudson, where I get absolutely no signal. Upon emerging into the light I refreshed Instapaper (without running Byline again) but did not get my new articles. Next I opened Byline again, allowed it to sync itself, and went back into Instapaper. Voila, everything I had added while offline loaded up.

So, yeah, Byline will do what you want. 
posted by bcwinters at 7:25 AM on July 31, 2012

Seconding Byline. I use it all the time in exactly this way. It works effectively and reliably.
posted by Gilgongo at 8:28 AM on July 31, 2012

I generally email my ready software in that situation. The mail app whines once that it's not online, then sends everything once back online.
posted by Heart_on_Sleeve at 9:28 AM on July 31, 2012

Response by poster: Hey guys. Thank you for all the responses.

I've use Byline all the time offline and it crashes almost daily. I've found lots of reports of this as well in the reviews. When in Europe where I disabled cellular data to not pay roaming charges, it would crash multiple times a day just reading and starring items while offline.

Maybe it's because I have so many articles or maybe because I'm still using the free version. I never bought it because I was so mad about the crashing.

I like the IFTTT receipie idea because then I have both stars and instapaper that the stories will be saved so it's a bit of a backup incase there are problems. Yes I really don't like to miss reading articles, I know, I'm strange.

Thanks for the help!
posted by kfs27 at 5:01 PM on July 31, 2012

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