Instapaper down for over a Month

We look forward to having the same Instapaper service you know and love accessible in Europe in the very near future. Thanks for your patience.

Near future, eh? It‘s been more than a month, FYI.

I can’t believe that it takes Instapaper more than a full month to return to service if they really want to. I was never a fan of the acquisition by Pinterest and it seems that my initial skepticism was warranted.

Now Instapaper is just a small side-product that does not seem to get much attention any longer. I, for one, have given up on waiting for the service to return.

I haven’t finally decided about the replacement for Instapaper. And so my current approach for clutter-free reading stuff later consists of a mixture of using Pinboard in combination with Pinner/Pushpin, and the text extraction function in DEVONthink.

Logitech Slim Combo

The Logitech Slim Combo is a case for the iPad Pro that comes with a magnetically attachable keyboard. The keyboard uses the smart connector for communication with the iPad.

This comes with the benefit of not having to care for another set of batteries that – sooner or later – needs charging. Another benefit is that Bluetooth is not involved.

The obvious drawback is that the keyboard can only be used with an iPad in landscape orientation.

The Slim Combo also sports a handy loop for the Apple Pencil. The Pencil fits safely in the loop, no worries about accidentally dropping the expensive piece of periphery while walking around with the iPad attached to the Slim Combo.

So far, so good.

That name, though. If this is seriously considered the “Slim” Combo I really don’t want to see what Logitech would sell as the Bulky Combo.

That’s not to say that I dislike the solution. The case has to be thicker than other cases to house the surprisingly sturdy kickstand. I have used the Slim Combo every day for more than 5 months now and that kickstand didn’t get all wobbly at all and feels as new as on the first day.

The keyboard is OK, the keys are small and not exactly grippy, but I manage to do surprisingly good most of the time. The only thing that is really wrong with this piece of hardware is that fact that the lock key has been placed directly above the backspace key.

It is inevitable that the lock key gets hit from time to time. Put me down as not a fan of this design decision.

That said, I am a fan of the magnetic attachment to the smart connector. It is nice to be able to just rip the keyboard part off the iPad if it is not needed. And when reattached, there is no waiting period for the keyboard to reconnect.

In some cases I’ve witnessed weird behavior where I took the keyboard off the iPad and after some time wanted to quickly type something using the on-screen keyboard.

Which. Would. Not. Appear.

Whatever I tried.

The iPad clearly was under the impression that the keyboard was still attached and acted accordingly. I‘ve heard stories about weird behavior of the Smart Connector, however this particular behavior was never mentioned.

Thankfully, backlit keyboards are the new normal. And the Slim Combo does not make any exception. In theory, the backlight can be deactivated. But I never seriously used that option.

Most of the time I wish that the grace period between the last keystroke and the light switching off were a bit longer.

While considering the purchase of an external keyboard, I wondered whether I would really use it or whether this was one of the things that I “needed badly” only to discover after more or less short period of time that I’m actually better off without it.

However, these concerns are unwarranted. I use the keyboard nearly every day1 and I don’t foresee any change of this habit. I don’t even care about the added weight any longer.

In comparison to the other2 (Bluetooth) keyboard I bought a couple of years ago in combination with my iPad 4 the Slim Combo has already unlocked veteran status.

That other keyboard got returned to the Apple Store, mainly out of a concern that it sat very tight to the iPad during transport and might slowly but inevitably put scratches on the surface of the display.

There must have been a lot of complaints about real or assumed display damage in reviews of former products. There is no other explanation for the fact that the Slim Combo‘s keyboard keeps an almost laughably articulated distance from the surface of the display during transport.

Buying the Slim Combo was meant to be an experiment, after years of using the on-screen keyboard only. The (unexpected) outcome is that I don‘t want to use my iPad without an external keyboard for the foreseeable future.

  1. Even if it is only for cmd-tabbing through my apps. 
  2. I don‘t really remember the product name, only that it was also a Logitech design.