How-To: Access online content offline on the iPod touch

Clearly, the biggest (and most obvious) drawback to the iPod touch is the lack of always-on Internet access. But then again, there are no data fees and the ithing does most everything else that its fancy big brother, iPhone, can do.

But what about using the iPod touch offline, like the headline promises?! Enter Instapaper, a wonderful app that makes enjoying your iPod touch offline a whole lot better and easier. Rather than rehash the app’s features (as previously mentioned), I want to touch on some ‘best practices’ for using Instapaper, in conjunction with Google Reader, to make your offline experience better.

Once you’ve downloaded and installed Instapaper (available in both free and paid flavors) on your iPod touch, head on over to Google Reader. Next, you will need to click ‘Settings’ > ‘reader settings’ > ‘Send To.’ Now, you will see a variety of options – choose whatever you like, as long as you also select ‘Instapaper.’ Now you are ready to load up your iPod touch with offline goodies.

Adding offline content is as simple as finding an article (or 10) you are interested in via Google Reader, clicking ‘Send To’ at the bottom of the article preview, and making sure you sync the iPod touch Instapaper app before you travel away from Internet access. OK…I admit, the need to manually sync the app kinda stinks, but luckily the Pro version of Instapaper will do this for you. And of course, you can still add content independent of Google Reader by using the ‘Read Later’ bookmarklet as explained here.

I find myself saving save articles I find during work to read during my daily commute. I also try to “load up” before long plane rides, but the possibilities are endless. So, there you have it. With a modest amount of effort, you can save and access online content offline on the iPod touch. One more reason to love the touch!